A committee tasked with investigating the possibility of broadcasting Livingston County Board of Commissioners meeting has met for the first time since March.

The Broadcast Committee met last Wednesday to discuss the concept, which is still in the planning phases. The meeting was an initial opportunity to get the first results from the county's IT department about what type of equipment would be needed, potential time frames and how it could be implemented. Full board meetings would be included and potentially finance committee meetings that are held early Wednesday mornings.

The committee reviewed three quotes that were received; one that could have more integration with the county computer system, potentially live stream meetings and have them on the county website after the fact. The second option involves just the video on the website the next day and the third was a company that would come in and tape meetings on a per meeting basis. At the same time, the IT department is updating how the board receives regular meeting packets.

Commissioner Gary Childs told WHMI he thinks it’s a very worthwhile venture. He believes what they’re looking for will likely be on the high-cost end but they don’t have that information in front of them yet and IT will be getting in contact with the vendors. Childs says all three quotes are being considered and he’s open minded to the whole process but can’t make a decision until they have final numbers and product information.

Some questions to be answered include where video stored and how such as on a cloud, server or a file. The more expensive option would integrate the video with those packets and the others don’t but there are also questions about hidden costs.

For a vendor that could record on a per-meeting basis without the county purchasing special equipment, there could be a six-month trial period to see how many people utilize the service. If it’s not being used, Childs says it might not make sense to invest $50,000 into a system and then have maintenance and updates.

No action was taken. The next meeting of the committee will be the last week of July and Childs says they should have more information from the vendors at that time. (JM)