LEWISBORO, N.Y. – Lewisboro residents may soon be able to view replays of town board meetings on the town's website.
The town board approved a supplemental budget request of $5,000 from the Cable Advisory Committee this week on behalf of Lewisboro Cable Television (LCTV) that will go toward replacing broken equipment and help fund the utilization of YouTube to stream board meetings on the website. The meetings are currently only available on Channel 20 – Cablevision's local community-access channel.
"This request is the outgrowth of discussions between the town clerk's office and members of the cable advisory committee with the goal of enhancing residents' access to town government by hosting town board meetings on the town's website for later viewing, and by continuing to host LCTV programs on the website with increased programming," Cable Advisory Committee Chair Dean Travalino told the board.
The request breaks down as follows:
• $2,005 to replace character-generating equipment used by the webmaster (Deputy Town Clerk Mary Hafter) to post municipal and community notices on channel 20.
• $1,500 for the purchase of a Mac desktop computer and peripherals for video editing and uploading files. Travalino said an existing older Mac is not sufficient and the town's web consultant has been using his personal computer to upload programs.
• $1,500 for web-consulting fees.
Because facilities maintenance manager Joel Smith will accomplish the town board meeting uploads at the same time that he reviews and copies each meeting for viewing on channel 20, there will be no incremental cost to the town, Travalino said. By hosting the programs on YouTube, the town will save the monthly hosting costs currently being charged by Westnet, about $30 per month, he said.
The material will be coded in a manner so users accessing through the town website will not see any advertising.
Once the procedures are in place, and with the use of the second Mac, Travalino said, the cost of uploading the LCTV programs will be equivalent to what the town was paying consultant Howard Funk last year. Funk died in October.
Town board member Dan Walsh said making the meetings available to residents who can't be there in person was important to the democratic process.
"People can't always match their schedules with ours and I think this is a small price to pay," he said of the budget request.
Deputy Supervisor Peter DeLucia had praise for the Cable Advisory Committee and for special program producer Henri Wolfe for creating quality programming on a limited budget.
"You have run LCTV at a very economical rate," DeLucia said. "You seldom come to us for anything. Henri is by far and away the most professional producer I've ever worked with. He does really good stuff."