Discussing streaming services

Ringgold City Council members Randall Franks (left) and Larry Black look on during discussion of the city's streaming services for public meetings during the council's Dec. 11 meeting. (Catoosa News photo/Adam Cook)

Ringgold's decision to offer live streaming of City Council meetings has been a big hit over the past few years, which prompted the board last month to unanimously approve a renewal agreement with the streaming service.

In February 2015, the city entered and agreement with Accela to provide the services to our City Council to provide streaming and also the archiving of our meetings," City Manager Dan Wright said. "It is again time to do the renewal on that and the cost is $4,630.50."

The streaming of meetings has provided residents the opportunity to stay abreast of what's going on with city government even if they aren't able to attend meetings in person regularly.

"We've budgeted this item. I just wanted to make sure you are satisfied with the service that is being provided," Wright said.

Councilman Larry Black asked how the agreement stacked up against competitors and inquired about the possibility of using a closer-based company.

"This a California company...are we satisfied?" Black asked. "Is there any need to look around at other companies now that it's gotten more competitive with live streaming? Are we set up and comfortable with the service they provide for us?"

Wright explained that the city was referred to the Accela company through the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) due to its track record of providing such services to a large number of municipalities.

"There are companies out there that will do similar things. The issue is, will they meet the state of Georgia's open records requirements?" Wright said. "Are they going to go out and do what the government needs them to do? The other ones we got quotes on were thousands of dollars more expensive, so this has actually turned out to be a lot less money than the others that we were able to find. There are a lot of cities that use Accela."

Live streaming and archival information of Ringgold City Council meetings can be found on the city's website, cityofringgoldga.gov.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.