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Officials look to upgrade streaming

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As city officials track how many people are tuning into their meetings online, they are considering upgrades that could result in even more viewers.

One of the major initiatives is to make sure that all boards provide written material on the website that is accessible with the video feed so viewers can follow along.

Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown said providing meeting documents online has been a bit irregular at times and needs to be standardized.

The city also is exploring the possibility of outfitting City Hall’s downstairs meeting hall with the same video and audio equipment. That way, if meetings need to be moved to a larger venue, video streaming would still be available. Estimated cost will be slightly less than the $58,308 spent on the initial installation.

The city can use the same computer equipment it purchased for the additional room, but more audio equipment will need to be purchased, according to Chris Schilling, city communications and program coordinator.

Large monitors would need to be installed on the wall in the larger meeting room.

Another upgrade that could happen this year is adding emergency lighting to the council chambers, the audio-visual equipment and the mayor’s office from the backup generator the city utilizes during power outages.

The city’s live feed abruptly stopped during a Feb. 12 City Plan Commission meeting when a public hearing was being conducted. A power outage ended the live feed, but city officials opted to continue meeting even though the room was dark and people were using cellphones as a lighting source.

It will take about $20,000 to upgrade the electrical requirements, and Brown said she will be looking for money in the budget to fund it.

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