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Nobles County to upgrade commissioners boardroom, allowing for livestreamed meetings

It will also allow Allison Heidebrink, the administrative assistant who records the meetings, to simplify the recording process, which she says currently uses around five different systems.

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WORTHINGTON — The room where the Nobles County Board of Commissioners meets contains VHS tape equipment, and on Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to upgrade.

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The board agreed to have the county engineer assess his workforce’s capabilities to complete the work and obtain quotes for materials.

The new equipment will be entirely digital and will allow for live-streaming of commission meetings, said County Administrator Bruce Heitkamp.

It will also allow Allison Heidebrink, the administrative assistant who records the meetings, to simplify the recording process, which she says currently uses around five different systems.

The county received two bids for the planned technology overhaul, and accepted the bid from $95,072 from epa Audio Visual, Inc.

The upgrades will include multiple 55-inch displays, replacing the 40-inch displays at the sides of the room, as well as an additional new display. A pair of ceiling-mounted cameras will capture the podium and audience, and ceiling microphones will be installed as well. Additionally, a microphone system with eight microphones will be reused, providing reinforcement. A web conferencing system will combine the room’s camera system and audio system for conferencing. Other audio elements and equipment are also included in the project.

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Controls for the system will be located at the clerk’s desk behind the board table, allowing camera switching, conference control and volume control.

Mental health crisis center

The board also approved the use of $30,000 in grant funds from outside organizations to pay for adjustments to plans for the county’s mental health crisis center, which will be located in the Prairie Justice Center’s former Kids Peace space. Pope Architects had increased charges due to changes in the scope of the project.

In other news Tuesday, the board:

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  • Recognized Michelle Ebbers, CHS administrator, and the WIC team: Stephanie Ross, Alli Orr, Danille Smith, LeeAnne DeRuyter, and Claire Henning with the May Excellence in Performance Award.
  • Granted tax abatement to KJSM Investments through the Nobles Home Initiative for both units of a two-unit condo on Cherrywood Lane. Commissioner Bob Paplow recused himself from the vote, as he is an employee of Johnson Builders and Realty.
  • Raised the spending limit for the Nobles County Drainage Coordinator from $5,000 to $20,000, with the proviso that he must keep the board and his supervisor updated on the expenditures.
  • Recommended PrimeWest for single plan health coverage for Nobles County and PrimeWest and Blue Plus for those on MinnesotaCare. The Minnesota Department of Human Services requested the recommendation, but may not follow it.
  • Heard that consultant Joshua Schuetz will be working with the county through Community and Economic Development Associates to find solutions to the shortage of child care in the area.
  • Appointed Kathy Wieneke to the Nobles County Park Board’s open position.
A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Email: klucin@dglobe.com
Phone: (507) 376-7319
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