Town investing in equipment to record meetings



Technical difficulties at the start of Monday’s meeting helped the Crothersville Town Council vote on a spending request.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the council has been meeting via Facebook Live since April. Using a cellphone to record, the video quality and sound have at times made it difficult for people to watch and hear the meetings.

Councilman Jamy Greathouse researched equipment online and received a quote for more than $1,800 that would cover the cost of a video camera, a microphone, a laptop, various cords, a television and a wall mount. He also receive a quote for the labor expense of running cables through the drop ceiling, down a wall and under the meeting table to the laptop.

Councilwoman Katie Masters asked if some of the equipment could be purchased individually at a cheaper price, so the council decided to approve spending up to $1,700 for equipment plus the $250 labor expense.

"We need to do something because we don’t know how long we’re going to be doing this," council President Danieta Foster said of doing virtual meetings.

Municipalities are now able to reopen their meetings to the public, but some people are still hesitant to attend in-person. Plus, some people aren’t able to make it to meetings because of other commitments.

"All of us had talked about trying to do this before the COVID-19 incident even took place," Greathouse said. "This was part of something that we wanted to try to do to help make our meetings more accessible to the community, as well."

Greathouse said the TV would be mounted on a wall in the meeting room and face the council so the members could see what’s being displayed. The laptop, video camera and microphone would be used to run the recording program.

Greathouse said the video camera would be mounted on the back wall of the meeting room facing the council, and the microphone would make it easier for viewers to hear those speaking during a meeting.

A man who provided the equipment quote said he would set everything up free of charge.

"He was very specific about the things that are required to run what we are trying to do to be able to do Facebook Live and if we decide to get rid of the conference call and go to a Zoom meeting or one of those kinds of things in lieu of that," Greathouse said.

A local man told Greathouse he would charge $250 to install the cables.

"Everything would be set up," Greathouse said. "It would be as easy as powering the laptop on and hitting ‘Go live.’"

He said he received quotes from several other sources for the equipment, but they were much higher, including one that was $4,000.

No posts to display