The District of Metchosin’s city hall. (Black Press Media file photo)

Metchosin mulls webcasting council meetings

Meetings may become more open to the public following budget discussions

A report recently prepared for Metchosin’s planning committee included operating expenses and methods to set up a system to record council meetings and post them on the web.

It looks into the benefits and challenges associated with uploading the video to different online platforms, the staff time required and other associated costs. Currently, of the 13 municipalities in Greater Victoria, Metchosin, Highlands, Langford and View Royal don’t provide video recordings of their meetings.

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Council received the report and recently moved to bring it forward to a finance and environment committee meeting in September for budget discussions. The report explores live streaming options and the ability to handle traffic to the district’s website.

The cheapest hardware option to support audio and video webcasts outlined in the report could run upwards of $8,000, including the cost of new equipment. A streaming service that manages an integrated agenda to follow could cost upwards of $7,000, according to the report, which cites the streaming options of Sidney.

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Providing an archive of the meetings would require a separate investment, it reads.

“The internet bandwidth Metchosin now has may be enough to stream a meeting live to three or four people at once, but if it was a controversial topic and 50 people wanted to watch the same meeting the web video would freeze and the website could crash.”

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The cost to upload the video to Youtube could run about $1,000 for storage, based on a similar case for the city of Lantzville. It would also require a staff member to start and stop the recording and post the videos, it notes. The five terabytes alloted should be enough space for hundreds of meetings, the report notes.



swikar.oli@goldstreamgazette.com

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