Watch Camden's meetings at home, now on YouTube

By Susan Mustapich | Feb 08, 2019
Source: File photo

CAMDEN — A new audio/video system for broadcasting meetings to the public via YouTube, as well as upgrades to the meeting room sound system, is near completion.

Meetings are broadcast from the John French Jr. Conference Room on Washington Street. The meetings held there include Select Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, budget and other town committees and workshops. The first meeting broadcast via YouTube was the Feb. 7 Planning Board meeting.

To view these meetings, go to YouTube.com and search for "town of Camden Maine." Previously, Camden used Townhallstreams.com to broadcast its meetings.

Town Manager Audra Caler-Bell said Feb. 8 that installation of the new system is nearly complete, with the exception of an additional microphone.

Stone Mountain Sound of South Portland won the bid in November 2018 to update the conference room's audiovisual equipment. The upgrade includes new cameras, microphones, video recorder, media player, streaming equipment and technology that runs the system. The $35,569 cost was primarily for equipment, with $2,500 for labor.

Eight wireless microphones are among the more costly features of the system, at $13,240. The use of multiple microphones is based on the different types of meetings broadcast. Many meetings feature a board of officials seated at a podium, each with a microphone, and a speaker's podium or table, also with a microphone. Other formats include meetings such as the Budget Committee, where members sit around a large conference table.

Stone Mountain's proposal was recommended by Opera House staff, who oversee the town's facilities, for its straightforward, yet flexible, design, high-quality components, ease of operation, and the proposal's competitive labor rate. In selecting the bid from a field of six proposals, the Select Board decided it best fit the town's request that the company "design an affordable, user-friendly system that could be operated by anyone."

The equipment previously used in the conference room was outdated and near the end of its useful life, accrding to Caler-Bell. That system includes cameras originally installed as security cameras, and audio equipment that was about 20 years old.

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