Falls to live stream meetings

NEWTON FALLS — Village Council voted 5-1 Tuesday to contract with a Youngstown production company to livestream council meetings and other events to improve communication between the village and its residents.

Village Manager David Lynch said there is a local public cable channel available that can broadcast 24 hours-a-day but it is only used to broadcast council meetings twice per month at two hours each.

“It’s disturbing to me a little bit that we essentially have a Ferrari in the garage but we only drive it at 5 mph,” Lynch said.

Councilman John Baryak, D-2nd Ward, cast the dissenting vote, saying he would like more information about what the production company will do.

The contract with Gregoryfilms Inc. of Youngstown calls for:

• Producing a live broadcast of council meetings twice per month, every other week. A three-camera live-switch with ID graphics, and a pre-made opening and closing with credits will be created by Gregoryfilms Inc., which also will provide all necessary crew;

• Producing a monthly show featuring local businesses and organization in and around Newton Falls;

• Producing a monthly segment interviewing village officials and other dignataries, allowing the public to get to know their officials better. Interviews can take place at the company’s studio or at village locations;

• Producing other events for community viewing, such as the mayor’s address, parades, city celebrations, visiting dignitaries’ addresses and other events deemed noteworthy, provided these events are scheduled at least 30 days in advance to guarantee coverage. The listed exceptions are the March 6 missile defense breakfast program and the March 27 State of the City event, according to the contract;

• If arrangements can be made, train high school students to operate video equipment to allow them the education and experience of professional broadcast TV production.

The village will pay a monthly production fee of $2,300, which will pay for all productions listed above and any crew necessary, including camera operators and audio engineer needed for council meeting production.

The 12-month contract takes effect March 1, the contract states.

“I want to change our communication with our citizens so that we are the ones that are reaching out and getting to our citizens with important information,” Lynch said.

The production fee of $2,300 would be mostly be paid by businesses, Lynch said. Each month through the business spotlight program, a business would be highlighted on the channel. The business chosen for the month would pay $2,000 for a spot.

“I think some of the businesses in town are struggling because of high rent, which we have no control over. I hope we can get $2,000. I’d like to see how that works,” Baryak said. “The saving merit of the whole thing is that there’s a two-month escape clause, but I just can’t support it right now.”

Also Tuesday, council heard first reading on an ordinance that would prohibit all purpose vehicles, such as mini bikes and trail bikes, from operating in the village.