By Chad Ingram
Published Dec. 8 2016
Minden Hills council meetings won't belive-streamed on the Internet any time in the near future.
Councillors decided to forgo spending moneyon a system that would allow council meetings to be aired lived as well asstored in a digital archive during a Dec. 8 meeting.
The live-streaming of Minden Hills councilmeetings was a campaign pledge of Reeve Brent Devolin during the 2014 election.
Property and environmental operationsmanager Ivan Ingram told council he'd visited council chambers in Bracebridgewhere such as system is in place.
“They're into it for about $160000 rightnow plus they just added another $15000 in upgrades” Ingram said.
A report from Ingram said issues that hadbeen identified with that system included Internet browser compatibilityswitching between presentations as well as open and closed sessions of councildelays when moving from closed to open session troubles with thesynchronization of sound and image as well as uploading.
Ingram also noted that while the councilchambers in Bracebridge are set up permanently for council purposes in MindenHills council chambers double as the county courthouse.
Since only $30000 had been budgeted forsuch a project Ingram's report said additional funds would be required ifcouncil decided to move ahead with the project as part of its 2017 budget.
Devolin acknowledging a live-streamingsystem had been his idea said he was prepared to shelve the idea at least fornow given the township has other expensive priorities.
“It's a lot of money and we have a lot ofneeds” he said. “Timing is everything. The timing is not appropriate. I thinkits day will come. I think the sticker [price] is beyond what people wouldsupport at this time.”
Minden Hills recently awarded a $2 millioncontract for the design and construction of a new fire hall to Huntsville'sGreystone Construction and is also exploring options for a multi-million-dollarrenovation of the arena and community centre.
It was Ingram's suggestion that if councilwas going to proceed with a live-streaming project that it survey residentsfirst to gauge how many of them would actually use such a service.
Councillor Jeanne Anthon suggested thatmany of the community's seniors residents likely would not.