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City Council Continues to Seek Process to Provide Online Meetings

December 1, 2020
By

City News PlymouthMembers of the Plymouth Common Council and Board of Public Works and Safety are still working for find a solution to steam city meetings online without breaking the bank.

Last week two representatives from BIS Digital, a digital recording solutions company based out of Fort Lauderdale zoomed into the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting to discuss the proposal and answer question on the quote presented.  It was noted that BIS is the company that installed the current recording equipment in the new council chambers.  They are also currently working for Marshall County government so they can provide online meetings and more.

The two discussed the proposal and Councilman Randy Longanecker noticed in the contract an additional charge for electrical work if necessary. They said they are not electrical contractors and if any outlets would be required that charge would not be included in the contract.  Looking at the location where the equipment will be located, the council chambers there appears to be no need to electrical work.

There has been an issue with operation of the workstation that would require the Clerk/Treasurer to operate the cameras in the room.  The Clerk, Jeanine Xaver is busy during the meeting taking the official notes from the meetings and does not want additional responsibilities. The scope of work has been adjusted slightly so the clerk can operate the workstation with just a few clicks of the mouse.

The only annual cost will be $5,000 each year for BIS support and remote support.  Everything else, the software and such would be owned by the city.

This idea started when the City Attorney asked to have someone take care of the monthly charge instead of using his personal credit card.

Councilman Jeff Houin asked if the software needs to operate with a platform such as zoom or would the software provided operate the online meetings.   The BIS representatives said some type of platform is necessary such a zoom.  Houin said the council would also have to consider providing the meetings online with the use of zoom or another video conferencing platform.

Don Ecker asked if the quote received last Monday was higher than before.  The city attorney said the last quote was $19,000 and now it is up to $28,000.

No action was taken on the online meeting proposal.   The council will continue searching for a way to provide online meetings for board members and the public to view.

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