The present system was installed in 2002.
“For 16 years, it has been serving us very well, but it has been giving us problems,” Township Manager Bill Cargo said.
The audio/visual technology in the board room has never been upgraded, and most of the components have reached the end of their useful life, officials say. Additionally, issues with both the audio and low resolution cannot be corrected without replacing and upgrading the equipment.
According to Cargo, money for the project was appropriated in the township’s 2017 fiscal year budget; however, the funds weren’t carried forward into 2018, meaning that the Township Board will have to amend the budget at a later date.
The low bidder for the project was AVI Systems Inc., a national company that has offices throughout the country, including Grand Rapids. The Grand Rapids-based office would provide labor and materials for the township’s project.
Officials note that the system designed by AVI will provide an improved end-user experience, while at the same time maintaining certain aspects of the current system. The new system will be simpler to use, provide improved audio, and higher screen resolution for both board members and the audience, officials note.
“You will be able to see things much clearer,” Cargo said. “The people in the audience will have a better picture of what is on screen.”
Cost reductions for the project were considered and included by reusing some existing materials, Cargo said.
“We’re going to still continue to use the guts of the system,” he said, referencing items such as speakers and cables.
The plan also removed some technology, such as the personal computers at the board members’ chairs.
“Within two months, it should be completed,” Cargo said.