During its Tuesday meeting, the Waseca County Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of roughly $23,000 worth of equipment to upgrade the audio and visual capacities for its boardroom to make it more visitor-friendly. The boardroom is by the way located in the East Annex across the street from the courthouse.
Commissioner Richard Androli said that it’s a major concern of people that they aren’t able to hear or see presentations well and so there was really a need for a technology upgrade.
Currently, the boardroom is outfitted with a screen and a projectorthat are located on the side of the meeting attendees and the commissioners but none has a microphone.
The County Board of Commissioners considered quotes from Streamline Communications in Waseca at roughly $1,000 or less and W.W. Communications of Mankato at around $24,000. The board made a unanimous decision in favor of Steamline’s bid.
What the upgrade will cover includes the installation of three screens, three projectors, six ceiling speakers and eight microphones. As for the electrical upgrades, they are not included in the budget of the bids but they were estimated to cost at around $750 to $1,000.
The funds that will be used for the upgrades will be taken from a grant from the Emergency Management that’s worth $5,000 and the rest will come from the bond money from the Sheriff’s Department.
While the commissioners are happy with the upgrades, they will still be one microphone short. One will be placed at the podium, another will be put in the adjacent conference room and one of each will be installed for the county administrator and the commissioners while the treasurer/auditor will use one microphone.
Back in December 2014, Laura Elveback who was then the County Administrator said that the risk management team from the insurer of the county, Minnesota Counties Intergovernment Trust, advises against the recording and broadcasting of meetings for many reasons, one of which that the act will lead to higher costs related to records retention.