DS to improve remote meeting access

By Megan Wehring

DRIPPING SPRINGS — With remote meetings a staple of existence these days, Dripping Springs wants to upgrade the quality of watching its meetings remotely.

On Nov. 2, the Dripping Springs City Council approved a resolution authorizing the use of Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CLFRF) to improve the city’s audio and video system in the council chambers, which will cost $24,771.39.

The city has recognized that the current audio and video capabilities are not suitable for remote access of meetings subject to the Texas Open Meetings Act. But the city will continue working with Pathway Communications for more streamlined equipment and installation. Pathway has also worked with Dripping Springs ISD, Hays CISD and Hays County for their audio and video systems.

The following items will be purchased for installation:

  • HDMI extender: Relocating the floor plate behind the dais to the rear wall at the back entrance will eliminate cording and carry higher signals for more efficient use.
  • Presentation screen: Installing an 85-inch LED screen extending from the ceiling will allow meeting participants to view materials on the screen in front of them, rather than having to turn their backs to the audience.
  • Audio processor replacement: The current audio processor was inherited with the city hall building. While it still works, it does not have the capabilities to run the audio equipment needed for remote access.
  • Wireless microphone system: The city does not currently have enough microphones for all of the meeting participants and the microphone quality does not provide clear sound. Purchasing the Shure MX wireless microphone system will allow participants to mute/unmute themselves while also eliminating background noise.

Council also approved an amendment to the budget, which will allow the emergency management equipment expenditures to be used to purchase a generator at the Dripping Springs City Hall for $50,970. The generator would allow the city to have the capability of supplying power to essential facilities in the event there is a power outage.

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About Author

Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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