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Nearly one year after receiving that request in a formal letter, Nevada Irrigation District’s board members rejected a request to live-stream and broadcast video footage of their twice-monthly meetings.
Instead, a motion to improve the audio recording system the district currently has in place was approved. That system saves audio files recorded from each board meeting, but only allows people with access to a district computer to listen to those files live or play them later.
The approved motion will establish an audio archive of meetings with an organized indexing feature that members of the public can access. The audio files of each meeting will stay on NID’s website for one year before they are deleted.
Although this suggestion was a improvement to the dated system, the public voiced their concern on Wednesday with a general reaction that it just isn’t enough.
Representatives from the League of Women Voters of Western Nevada County, the Federation of Neighborhood Associations of Nevada County and the South Yuba River Citizens League submitted the original request on April 6, 2016, and sent a follow up letter before Wednesday’s board meeting, which saw a packed house.
Many community members who spoke during the meeting’s public comment period urged board members to reconsider the request, arguing that live video streaming of meetings is the new standard for government agencies in Nevada County and throughout the country.
Nevada County TV recently improved broadcasting equipment in other local government facilities, including at Nevada City and Grass Valley city halls.
TV staff estimated an initial cost of about $10-$15,000 to install the technology necessary to support live streaming of NID board meetings, said the original request letter sent to the board.
An additional $500 per meeting would pay TV staff or contractors to operate the equipment and manage streaming, broadcasting, and archiving the content.