Members of the Oakdale City Council approved a long-overdue and much-needed overhaul on City Hall’s audio equipment Monday night, April 19 with unanimous support for the $76,704.27 project.
Albert Avila, Oakdale City Finance Director said, “Generally we have been able to make the system work but it’s time to upgrade and replace the audio system.”
The City awarded the contract to Fontes Pro Sound, the company that has been operating the current equipment and facilitating the broadcast of the City Council meetings.
According to Fontes Pro Sound owner, George Fontes, the upgrade will eliminate the glitches and the overall problems associated with the audio that they’ve been struggling to overcome for the past two years.
The audio upgrade was part of a scheduled replacement that was supposed to happen in 2016 when the camera system and broadcast equipment was upgraded, however, the audio portion of the project was delayed until more funds could accumulate in the Education/Government CTV Fund.
The funding for the Education/Government CTV Fund is a 1 percent PEG (Public, Educational and Government) fee that is assessed on all cable subscribers to allow for the broadcasting of governmental meetings.
According to city documents, the current sound system is an antiquated analog system that makes it very difficult to integrate into the digital systems. At times, they’ve had issues in getting it to work at all and had to broadcast meetings with no sound.
In order to seamlessly upgrade the system and make it work with the camera/broadcast equipment and software, the city felt it best to hire someone familiar with all of the audio/visual system and will be hands-on moving forward, which made Fontes the most logical choice.
The proposal is to replace all 11 microphones, install four speakers, new sound control equipment in the broadcast room, wiring and installation.