Dawn-Euphemia buying video system to broadcast council

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Heather Wright/The Independent

Dawn-Euphemia councillors are going live.

The township will buy a camera system to broadcast council meetings.

During the pandemic, municipal council continued business by using online platforms like Zoom.
After hearing positive comments from residents about the meetings being more accessible, many councils decided to buy systems which would allow the broadcasts to continue. Petrolia, St. Clair

Township, Warwick Township and Plympton-Wyoming have all upgraded to better systems post pandemic. But Dawn-Euphemia didn’t immediately follow suit.

The municipality turned to conference calling to provide a live link to local residents or councillors who could not attend meetings.

The phone line was chosen because internet access in Dawn-Euphemia at the time was poor.
However the land line also had problems.

While councillors did use the option occasionally, those in the council room often had to repeat questions directed at them because the reception was not that good.

As the number of internet providers increased in the township and the quality of the service increased, councillors decided to see what could be found.

Mayor Al Broad was impressed with the portable system used by the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority when it held it’s annual meeting in Florence. The system – called Owly – can be purchased and run for less than $5,000. It is the same system used by Brooke-Alvinston.

Administrator Donna Clermont laid out the costs to council Monday. Council approved the purchase.
Clermont says it will not be difficult to set it up in the centre of the conference table in the council chambers, although it may take some time for staff to run the camera.

“Don’t expect it at the next meeting. We’re gonna have to try and figure things out and we might have a couple of practice runs before we actually try it live,” she said.