Supervisors work on AV quality

By Kate Klimesh,

The Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors has discussed enhancing meeting recordings and sound quality for online attendees over the past several meetings. The Monday, June 26, meeting was the first meeting they had two OWLs in place. The OWL is a 360-degree video and audio system that connects online meetings and participants in real-time. It was noted from online participants Monday that the sound was a bit better, but still cut out intermittently, especially when multiple people were talking. 

County IT Director Jon Lubke reported that he had been in contact with Jesse Hartsock of CTI, an audio-visual and IT systems design company in Hiawatha, to personally inspect the Annex building and recommend a system and potential layout of the space that would work for in-person attendees as well as online participants. It was noted that this company had designed and installed many systems currently used in most courtrooms in Iowa successfully.  

County Auditor Ben Steines noted that the board should develop policies and processes to define use of any new system, especially in the case of saving recordings of the meetings. Lubke noted that lighting would also need to be considered for the best video quality for recordings. “We’re basically overseeing video production, so all these factors, as well as layout of the room will need to be considered. Since so many groups use the Annex for multiple layouts and uses, the system should be movable as well.”

The Board will discuss the sound system again at the July 10 meeting. There will be no meeting July 3, but the board may use that time as a work session for further discussion on whether to record meetings and possible policies if they decide to move forward. They agreed that the recommendations and price of the system, once known, would factor into their decision. 

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