Lincoln County residents will likely have the opportunity to view Board of Commission meetings online in the near future.
Commission Chairman Alex Patton announced the initiative following a public comment from Robert Avery on the matter during Monday’s regular meeting, saying citizens will soon be able to access recorded — though not live — meetings on the Internet.
County Manager George Wood told the Times-News Thursday that funds from the current fiscal year’s budget would cover the cost, estimated to be between $120,000 and $140,000.
Dante’ Patterson, the county’s chief information officer, is looking into implementing the service, Wood said, adding that he doesn’t have an exact timeline for when recording of the meetings will begin.
Both new camera and editing equipment will be required, Wood said. The meetings will not be streamed live, he noted, in case of the “rare” occasion a speaker says anything deemed inappropriate that would need to be cut out later.
County officials have looked at how other locations have carried out similar initiatives.
“It has been a goal of mine for several years to make our meetings available on the Internet and hopefully on Charter,” Patton told the Times-News on Thursday.
The meetings will be available to watch “shortly after” they take place, he said.
“We were finally able to get it in this year’s budget,” Patton added. “We should begin testing it any time now and look forward to allowing more citizens access to the information shared at our meetings. I look forward to this.”