County Auditor Lajuana Kasprzyk explained to the court that she and County Commissioner Shelby Dupnik met with the regional manager for BIS Systems who had been hired by the previous county judge to install a video recording system in the courtroom.
The manager told them the cost to remove and return the equipment would be $2,255.97.
The equipment has not yet been paid for, Kasprzyk explained.
“To make this current system do what we originally wanted – a P.A. (public address) system, it would cost us an additional $4,211.84,” Kasprzyk said. “The total of this system now for video, audio and a court reporting system would total $10,732.19. Our current budget contains $4,994 for an amplification P.A. System.”
Kasprzyk said that the court reporting option is not necessary since the county clerk has plans for a separate court reporting system.
The cost to purchase and install a sound system without court reporting is estimated to be between $2,092.37 and $2,208.
“That cost, plus the cost of removal of this current system and return, keeps us under what is currently budgeted,” Kasprzyk said.
County Judge Richard Butler said the vendor wants something for work done installing the video recording system, but under the budget authorized by the court, the current system can be removed and a working system can be installed that meets the needs of the court.
“Can you tell me whether or not that amplification system does or can have a recording capability?” Butler asked Kasprzyk. “Just an audio recording of whatever is said either into the microphones up here or from the podium.”
“The reason I think that might be a good idea is we sometimes entertain motions or vote on things and there is room for disagreement in exactly what we are voting on – the exact wording of the resolution or the exact wording of whatever it is we approved or voted on,” Butler said. “I’ve heard of some instances where that led to some confusion or possibly even later disagreement over what the commission voted to approve or not.”
Kasprzyk explained that the county clerk currently makes audio recordings of the meetings.
County Clerk Carol Swize explained that the current recordings are mostly clear, but will be even clearer once a functioning sound system is installed and in use.
Commissioner Dupnik asked Kasprzyk about the cost of the current video recording system and computer which was used as part of the system.
Kasprzyk said the computer cost part of the system was $1,617.50, but the computer can be used for other purposes, perhaps as a backup for routine office use.
Dupnik made a motion to approve removal and return of current system at a cost of $2,255.97. Commissioner Tracey Schendel seconded the motion. The motion carried with all voting in favor.
The court then voted to disapprove a proposed sound and court reporting system at a cost of $10,732.19.
Commissioner Schendel made a motion to approve a proposal for $2,208 sound system for the courtroom. Commissioner Pete Jauer seconded the motion which was then unanimously approved by the court.
“Would the court like me to order that?” Kazprzyk asked.
“Yes, as soon as possible,” Schendel said.
“Should have been here a year ago,” Dupnik added.