City AV equipment gets an upgrade
When dedicated followers of local government tune into the next televised Farmington City Council meeting, they might notice that the mayor looks a little crisper, the council members a bit more vivid.
The city is currently replacing the cameras and other equipment used to broadcast government meetings. It is the first phase of a project that also includes new equipment at Rosemount and Apple Valley city halls. The new equipment will be paid for with fees paid by cable companies.
Cable coordinator Mark Moore, who runs the cable system for the three-city partnership, said the new equipment is necessary because the existing equipment, which in Farmington’s case was installed 14 years ago in the former city hall building, is wearing out. Cameras are failing, and it’s impossible to get parts for them.
“It’s old. It’s creaky,” Moore said.
The new equipment will be capable of high definition broadcasts, but the current cable access channels are not broadcast in HD. Moore said that will be negotiated as all three cities renew their cable franchise agreements.
“You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a city council meeting in high def,” he joked.
Farmington is the first of the three cities to upgrade its equipment. Monday’s council meeting was not televised because crews were in the process of installing the new system. It should be up and running in time for the city’s next meeting.
Rosemount will upgrade its system in July and Apple Valley in August.
The total project cost is $460,000 for the three cities, about $60,000 less than anticipated. Farmington’s share is $151,380. Rosemount’s share is $151,610.
In addition to the system upgrade, Farmington City Council members voted Monday to approve an upgrade in the equipment used to make presentations at council meetings.
The new system will include a 70-inch interactive display, a touch pad and a mobile stand that will allow it to be rolled out of the council chambers for use in other parts of city hall. The city will also replace a VHS unit with a DVD player.
The new presentation system will cost the city $32,990. That money will also come from cable franchise fees.