During their July 21 voting session, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners gave the thumbs up for additional funds to bolster the second floor assembly room’s technology for online viewers of public meetings.
Tech additions will include upgraded speakers and volume control functions as well as multiple changes to the voting system, which Public Affairs Officer Laura Fulcher called the project’s largest component. Commissioners will be able to use individual tablets and computers for voting.
The project’s final cost is $99,742, an increase of $23,501.
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Fulcher presented the request to the board at the July 21 work session, and the measure was subsequently approved during the voting session that immediately followed.
She later referred to the changes as “pretty much an overhaul” of equipment in the assembly room, much of which is the same as when the board started using the gathering space.
A little over two years ago in May 2020, the county was provided with materials and labor to allow for online streaming and viewing of public meetings. Then last fall, the board approved $76,241 for the assembly room technology upgrades.
Since that time, Fulcher explained that her office and Purchasing have been corresponding with the vendor, W.H. Platts, to obtain updated pricing for the completion of the project. With a delay in receiving equipment and increased costs toward the beginning of this year, some items were removed from the original request list that could later be added back, Fulcher said.
These changes helped keep the total project expense under $100,000.
Fulcher said the county’s goal is to aim for equipment installation during the board’s winter break between December and January.
“We’ve just reached a point where we can’t actually do any more upgrades technology-wise with what we have,” Fulcher added.