Snoqualmie citizens will soon be able to follow along with all the decisions made by the city council from the comfort of their own homes. At the Aug. 28, city council meeting, the council unanimously approved the purchase of software and hardware to livestream council meetings on the Snoqualmie city website.
Audio recordings of the Snoqualmie City Council meetings are uploaded to the city’s website each week, but requests for a video option, similar to the video available for North Bend City Council meetings, motivated the city staff to look into a solution for Snoqualmie. The North Bend meetings are aired live on a local access television channel and are available to watch as video uploads on the North Bend city website.
The city’s Information Technology department presented a variety of options and plans to the Community Development Committee and the city council, including audio only, video of the computer screen/council agenda with audio, a television partnership with North Bend, on-demand video recordings, video livestreaming and recording, or outsourced production.
Staff recommended livestreaming the meetings, then uploading the video recording after the meeting, because it offered the most options to citizens. People could either watch the meetings as they happened, or at another, more convenient time.
PJ Rodriguez, IT director for the city, told the council his staff did look into a television partnership with North Bend, but decided to go all online with livestreaming and on-demand video.
“Our proposal was to be a little bit more future-proof, we don’t believe that Comcast cable is really the answer to this, we did investigate it,” he said. “The trend people are moving toward is your Facebook (and) YouTube. The platform is already there, what we are investing in is the hardware, which are the cameras and a $1,000 piece of software to do the actual live streaming.”
Since the purchase was approved, city staff started acquiring the necessary hardware and software. The total cost of the project is $8,100 with $6,800 for hardware and $1,300 for software. The city will be using as much of their current equipment as they can including their audio system, which should fit right in to the new production, Rodriguez said.
The delivery of the hardware is estimated to be on Sept. 22, with installation, configuration and testing following until the staff ready to go. Rodriguez said that the streaming set up should be up and running by late October or early November.