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RFD- 3687 Business Items   Item #:   4. b.    
Committee of the Whole Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 09/16/2019  
Title:    Implementation of Electronic Meeting Management Software - Frostad
Presenter: Freddie Martinez
Department: Corporate Services  
Strategic Vision Element: n/a Related Goal: n/a

Information
Request for Decision Summary
 Further input is required in order to proceed with the Implementation of Electronic Meeting Management Software project. Administration has prepared three options for discussion that would address upgrades to the audiovisual system in Council Chambers, electronic meeting management software, and provide for either video recording or live streaming.
Proposed Motion
That input received regarding the Implementation of Electronic Meeting Management Software be brought forward for Council’s consideration during the 2020-2022 budget deliberations. 
Background/Analysis
 Initiative DP662.4 – Implementation of Electronic Meeting Management Software was approved as an amendment in the 2019-2021 Corporate Plan. The intent of this amendment was to accelerate from 2021 to 2019 the implementation of electronic voting, video recording of proceedings and enhancement of how Council meeting information is managed, including the agenda preparation and minutes. This project was allocated a budget of $53,000 and projected completion was October 2019.

Two issues were identified as the project progressed, the first being that “video recording” and “web streaming” were not defined at the time of approval. Video recording is different than live web streaming, with the latter being significantly more expensive. The second issue identified was that our existing audiovisual technology in Council Chambers has reached the end of its lifecycle and upgrades are required.

Several issues with respect to the audiovisual (AV) system have been highlighted by both Council, Administration, and those in attendance, including:
  • AV system generally does not provide listeners with the ability to clearly communicate within the Chamber. Both the Mayor and Council areas as well as the Public Gallery have poor system performance which makes it difficult for others to hear.
  • Microphone system currently in place is not providing the desired pick-up quality.
  • Audio feedback is common.
  • AV system current does not allow for electronic meeting attendance as the microphone system cannot be integrated with web based meeting apps (Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc.). This means that the participant remoting in will not be able to hear all that is said in Council Chambers.
  • Various hardware components within the AV System have reached their end of life and replacement parts are no longer available. Included in this is the electronic voting system that has become increasingly unstable.
While our current electronic meeting management software, AgendaQuick, works well, the agenda preparation and meeting processes are largely manual and do not allow for recording or indexing of recordings.

It is critical to complete audiovisual upgrades to Council Chambers in order to ensure that meeting processes are not interrupted. An amendment is therefore required to the Corporate Plan to revise the scope and budget for the Implementation of Electronic Meeting Management Software. Administration is seeking input from Committee regarding the nature and scope of the changes to Council Chambers and the Electronic Meeting Management Software.
Options/Alternatives
 
Option 1: Audio/visual Upgrades, Simple Video Recording and Conferencing Capabilities
This option would:
• Upgrade existing Council Chambers audio/visual system (including microphones, AV rack, projector screens, and monitors).
• Upgrade to allow for electronic video attendance at council meetings through the addition of a conferencing hardware.
• Video record Council and Committee Meetings with a single camera showing the Mayor, Council and Administration. The indexed recording will be uploaded the next day to the City’s website.


Option 2: Audio/visual Upgrades, Single Camera Web Streaming and Conferencing Capabilities

This option would:
• Upgrade existing Council Chambers audio/visual system (including microphones, AV rack, projector screens, and monitors).
• Upgrade to allow for electronic video attendance at council meetings through the addition of a conferencing hardware.
• Record and webcast (live stream) Council and Committee Meetings with a single camera showing the Mayor, Council and Administration. The recording will be indexed during the meeting.


Option 3: Full Audio Video and Control System Upgrade, Web Streaming and Conferencing Capabilities
This option would:
• Fully upgrade existing Council Chambers audio/visual system (including microphones, AV rack, projector screens, monitors, and multi-camera system).
• Upgrade to allow for electronic video attendance at council meetings through the addition of a conferencing hardware.
• Record and webcast (live stream) Council and Committee Meetings with a multi-camera switching system showing the Mayor, Council and Administration.
Consultation/Engagement
 Based on lessons learned from other municipalities in the region who have conducted upgrades to their agenda management software and AV systems, Administration has engaged an external party that specializes in the integration of audiovisual equipment and software systems, and will handle much of the project management of this project.
Implementation/Communication
Administration will take into consideration the input provided by Committee and prepare a corporate plan amendment. This amendment will be brought forward during the 2020-2022 corporate plan deliberations. Administration hopes to go out to RFP before the end of this year, and plans to complete the upgrades between the August and September 2020 council meetings.
Impacts
Conducting upgrades to the audiovisual and to the software will promote further transparency in government while enhancing operational efficiencies.

Given the state of our current audiovisual equipment in Council Chambers, it is likely that we will continue to experience technical difficulties during council and committee meetings unless upgrades are done.

Financial Implications:
Based on our initial evaluations and consultations with vendors, the estimated costs will be as follows:

Option 1 Audio/visual upgrades, simple video recording and conferencing capabilities $275,000 - $295,000
Option 2 Audio/visual upgrades, single camera web streaming and conferencing capabilities $285,000 - $305,000
Option 3 Full Audio Video and Control System Upgrade, Web Streaming and Conferencing Capabilities $385,000 – $405,000


The estimated costs do not include any millwork or physical changes to the room. If upgrades are required to the HVAC system to reduce noise, it is estimated that up to $100,000 additional funds may be required. 

There will be ongoing costs associated with the software and AV system support, and this is an expense that will continue to be included in our operational budget. 




Attachments
No file(s) attached.

City Council and Committee of the Whole agendas and minutes are posted on the City of Spruce Grove website for information purposes only. These agendas may be changed at the discretion of Council by the addition or deletion of items. Anyone reviewing the draft agenda should do so on the understanding that it is subject to change by Council.

All attachments are in PDF format, and require the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in for viewing.

Audio from the most recent City Council and Committee of the Whole meetings are available via podcast on the City of Spruce Grove website.



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