AUBURN – Television viewers won’t be seeing Auburn government on their screens until January.

Setting up the system to televise City Council meetings live from Auburn Hall is proving tough, according to Adolph Holmes, station manager for Great Falls TV.

“Part of it is finding the right equipment,” Holmes said. “We want to make the system compatible to the set up in Lewiston. But that same equipment is just no longer available.”

Holmes debuted live televised meeting coverage in Lewiston in January 2002. The first system used a single stationary camera attached to the ceiling over the fourth row of the audience, pointed at the councilors. A persistent loud buzzing from the video feed managed to drown out most voices.

Holmes replaced the cameras and upgraded the sound system and a new, improved broadcast debuted in November 2002.

“Some of the stuff we have up there was just obsolete, already,” Holmes said. “The two systems, are going to be so close we have to make them compatible. So it’s just a matter of figuring out how to do it.”

City Manager Pat Finnigan said she wants to give Holmes plenty of time to set up the system correctly.

“We’ve taken our time getting to this point,” Finnigan said. “We just want to make sure that it’s useful and that there are no technical difficulties. We’ve seen what’s happened at other communities and we don’t want that to happen here.”

Great Falls TV currently broadcasts meetings live from Lewiston and on tape from Lisbon. Holmes said volunteers tape the Lisbon meetings and deliver them to his Lewiston offices. They are broadcast Wednesday evenings.

Holmes said he has already started attaching some of the wires needed to record the Auburn Hall meetings. The system will use three remote-controlled cameras to record the action and will require an attendant to monitor the meetings and control the sound and the cameras.

The new system will have some improvements, Holmes said. It will also allow television and radio news media to tap directly into the speaker system when they are recording public hearings.


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