Oscoda Township purchases equipment to move meetings to Shoreline Theater | New
OSCODA – At its regular meeting on October 25, the Oscoda Township Board of Directors unanimously approved a motion by Trustee Jeremy Spencer to enter into a contract with miCTV to purchase four PTC cameras for the television township meetings.
They also agreed to a new venue, the Shoreline Theater located at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base.
Trustee Tim Cummings seconded Spencer’s motion. The purchase of cameras and installation must not exceed $ 10,910. miCTV is the local public television station for Iosco County and surrounding areas.
A miCTV proposal gave the township two options. The first was for the township to buy the cameras and miCTV to install them and the second was for miCTV to have the additional cameras.
The vote followed a discussion centered on the advantages and disadvantages of the municipality compared to miCTV owning the cameras. “From the board’s point of view, I think we need to own the equipment.” Spencer said.
Township Clerk Josh Sutton reported on the County Hybrid Meeting he recently attended. The county used two flat screen televisions and two cameras. Spencer asked who was running the audio mixer. Sutton reported that everything was controlled with a laptop.
“Well, that sounds like absolute misery,” Spencer replied. Spencer asked if Sutton had watched the recording. Sutton reported that the camera covered the entire room, with commissioners, speakers and the front row of audience members visible.
“To say that miCTV shouldn’t be part of the reunion is foolishness. We have someone running the meeting for us so that we can focus on the meeting. We charge a franchise fee so that the public can view the meetings. If we are to continue to charge franchise fees, we have to have quality production, ”Spencer said.
“Using franchise fees to subsidize, I think this is the right place to subsidize. I really appreciate the work miCTV has done to improve their services, ”added Cummings.
Treasurer Jaimie McGuire spoke about using franchise fees to improve broadband. “I don’t think we need more cameras.” McGuire said.
“Saving a lot of money to set up Internet services is not the responsibility of the municipality,” said Spencer. “I don’t agree with you on this one. The township receives $ 80,000 in franchise fees.
Eric Joseph of miCTV said they had run several hybrid meetings without a hitch, including one with 20 people. Joseph pointed out that hybrid meetings are different from virtual meetings because everyone needs to be heard, audio needs to be mixed, and you don’t want feedback. He clarified that hybrid meetings could take place either in the library or in the theater.
“The price of labor is going up and it’s hard to find,” Spencer said. The cameras offered can be operated by one person using a joystick. Cummings asked what the township would do with the equipment they have. Spencer clarified that the equipment the township owns is a soundboard.
“I try to be reasonable. We need quality production that people can see clearly, ”said Spencer. “How quickly can we get this in place?” asked Administrator Bill Palmer. Is there a difference between the places? ” he added.
Spencer responded that the venue would be ready for in-person meetings by the end of November, but added that in-person meetings would have to be pushed back to January. Supervisor Ann Richards asked when this decision was made. “It was started by me and a few other board members. I know you and Ms. McGuire would like to come back in person as soon as possible. Spencer added.
“I would like to come back to the in-person meetings for the first meeting in December. If there are any bugs. I want to make sure everything is sorted out before that, ”Palmer said later in the meeting.
Spencer also brought forward a motion to contract with the Shoreline Theater to host city council meetings. The motion was seconded by Administrator Steve Wusterbarth. The board discussed a quote for the rental of the site received from the Shoreline Players.
The quote provides the prices and conditions for holding regular twice-monthly board meetings at the Shoreline Theater located at 6000 N. Skeel Avenue. The quote states that the township will pay the theater $ 200 per meeting, or $ 4,400 for a total of $ 13,200 over a three-year period.
“I want to simplify our process and our costs,” said Richards. She suggested keeping the meetings at the library and expressed concern that the township is responsible for the snow removal included in the estimate. “Before I sign DPW for anything, I would like to hear from them,” she added.
Speaking to Joseph, Richards said: “I want to be clear that I think you are doing a great job, but I would love to stay in the library.”
“Why is that?” Spencer asked. “I don’t like the idea of us being on a stage with everyone around us.” Richards responded. Spencer expressed concern about the lack of space in the library. Richards said meetings should revert to Zoom if social distancing is required.
“The library is too crowded. We are not yet in the new building. I think until then the theater is a great idea, ”added Wusterbarth.
“I don’t think we should move to a building that doesn’t belong to the municipality. I’m not for paying the rent up front, ”McGuire added. Later in the meeting, she asked City Attorney Tim Freel if paying rent in advance was legal. She also asked about the legal aspects and insurance issues related to the township having installed equipment in a building it does not own. Freel said it was a subscription issue.
After a lengthy discussion of the pros and cons of holding library and theater meetings, Cummings reminded council that a motion had been tabled. “The library does not work well for social distancing,” he added. “Can we move between the two sites,” he asked. Joseph said the onus would be to install the cameras in one location. There would be additional costs if the cameras were moved.
Sue Miller of the Shoreline Theater was on hand to answer any questions. She said the orchestra pit could be used to seat board members, to address Richard’s concerns about sitting on the stage. Joseph said the orchestra pit could be used in terms of visibility but could not answer about the sound.
In a 5-2 vote, the motion passed with McGuire and Richards voting no. The motion included a review by township lawyer Tim Freel.
During the public commentary Dirk Hunt of the Internet station Newstalk989.org, Spencer asked about his association with miCTV. Spencer said that while he was on the board he did not receive any payment from them.
“I’ve been doing this for several years. $ 1,000 per meeting, I have a stroke. I suggested that one of the best high school students could host these meetings as part of an internship. The live broadcast could be set up in 30 minutes, ”added Hunt.
In other actions, the board of directors:
• Unanimously approved the appointment of Jeff Rush to the Oscoda Township Zoning Appeal Board. He is a high school teacher and coach and will occupy a position currently vacant and open until December 31, 2022 on the Appeal Board. Richards reported that Rush is also a real estate agent.
• Unanimously approved a request by the Chamber of Commerce to use Furtaw Field as a staging area for the Northern Lights Parade. The theme of the parade, which will take place at 6 p.m. on December 4 this year, is Holiday Magic. The parade route extends south along US-23 from Furtaw Field. Council also approved the closure of part of Dwight Street from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for pre-parade festivities.
• Unanimously approved payment to Katterman Construction in the amount of $ 196,222.95 for phase IV of the water main project.
• Unanimously approved the changes to the Corridor Business District zoning ordinance as presented by Nicolle Vallette.
• Presented a decision on the sale of laboratory equipment to the Aune Medical Center until their next scheduled meeting.
During council comments, Wusterbarth told council he would investigate the township’s contract with F&L Operations and Resource Management. He reported that the township overpaid F&V, he also reported that the company did not employ the number of employees stated in the contract. He also reported that a number of complaints had been received from citizens and entrepreneurs regarding F&V. Most recently, the township council approved an F&V proposal at its August 23 meeting to conduct additional sampling to determine the source of new per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the township, as required by the state. from Michigan.
The water loss was also brought up during public comments, with Spencer requesting that the topic be added to the agenda for the next board meeting.
“We have millions of gallons that are wasted. There must be some significant losses somewhere, ”Palmer added. McGuire asked if there is a way to check for illegal connections. “Do they find something,” she asked of the water pipe project.
Township Superintendent Tammy Kline responded, “They are. They found one quite important. “I remember there was a pipe from one house to another,” Cummings added. “I’ve heard of people removing meters to fill pools and the like,” Spencer added. “We will definitely look at the water loss,” Richards concluded.