James Rada Jr.
(4/19) If you’re one of those people who
is busy on Tuesday nights and can’t attend the Thurmont Town Commissioners’
meetings or watch them on cable, you can now watch the meetings on your
The town is experimenting with video
streaming meeting. Currently, the town’s web site has two recent town meetings
saved in two different formats available for viewing.
“We’ve got some video downloads on the web
site just got to get feel and interest for it,” said John Kinnaird who serves
as the town’s webmaster.
Kinnaird said the big problem that most
people will run into is the size of the files required to save a meeting. Even
when the files are drastically compressed, they are still quite large.
“A five-minute file is no problem, but
when you get into two, two and a half hour meetings, you’re talking gigabytes,”
There is also a question of whether the
town should offer downloads of the meetings or video streaming, which would use
less space but would require watching the meeting as it happens.
Mayor Martin Burns has suggested that the
town might be able to join with Frederick County Government as it pursues video
streaming and downloads.
However, Dale Spangenberg, interagency
information technologies director for the county, said that while he
understands there may be some interest among the county commissioners in
including towns with the county project, “We have not specifically included
municipalities in our proposals.”
Kinnaird said that the town could
potentially do the video streaming without being part of a county program,
though the town would probably need some updated equipment that would simplify
the process that is currently very time consuming.
“I’m sure at some point there will be a
greater interest in this, but question is interest vs. expense,” Kinnaird said.
The county is projected a $30,000 start-up
cost for its project with about $16,000 in annual costs. Granicus will stream
the broadcasted meetings and store them for a year. It will also store up to 70
hours of non-meeting material for the county.
To view the town meetings, go to
www.thurmont.com and click on “Meeting Agendas & Minutes” then “Town Meeting