BRIGHAM CITY -- With few citizens making it to council meetings, the Brigham City Council hopes to get its meetings into people's homes.
Soon city council meetings will be recorded and streamed live. Recordings will be available through the city's website, brighamcity.utah.gov.
Council members recently authorized $600 for video equipment, which they hope to have installed for an upcoming meeting. The official debut will be the Dec. 6 meeting, said Royce Wilkinson, city network administrator.
"I think we'll get more people involved in the city," Mayor Dennis Fife said.
"We're trying to be open and communicative with our citizens," Wilkinson added.
The only hang-up is audio. The city council chamber has plenty of microphones, but Wilkinson is working to get sound fed to the camcorder with a minimum of background noise.
"We've done dry tests, and they've worked great, but we don't know about the background noise," he said.
The move is part of the city's efforts to get more involved in social media. It has expanded the Brigham City Facebook page, and the city is offering a service that will allow residents to sign up to receive each council agenda via email.
The city is starting with the basics, using one camera that will be controlled by City Recorder Mary Kate Christensen. The live video streaming is provided by Ustream.tv, a free service that also offers live streaming of council meetings for such cities as Logan, said Wilkinson.
More cameras may be purchased in the future, Wilkinson said. He added that the live feed will eventually be available on the city's Facebook page.
"This is just a start, and we will improve on it as we go," he said.
He also anticipates that the future will bring live interaction during meetings, with the council taking questions that are posed on the city's Facebook page. Other citywide events will make it onto live streaming, he adds.
The mayor hopes more people become informed about city government.
"We always get told, 'You need more transparency,' and 'How come we don't know about anything?'" he said.
He added, "This is just more open and transparent government, allowing everyone access to meetings."