Council chambers at city hall in Hannibal will look about the same when the Council convenes on Tuesday night, but some big changes will have been implemented since it last met on April 16.
Wrapped up earlier this week was the installation of a number of audio/visual upgrades that the Council approved at its April 2 meeting.
As excited as City Clerk Angel Vance was to see a number of physical changes made in council chambers a little over a year ago, she is almost giddy about seeing the room enter the 21st Century techology-wise.
"If I were able to do back-flips I would be doing them. I'm very excited," said Vance with a chuckle.
The old system had become inefficient, according to Vance.
"The existing system we've been 'band-aiding' along, just waiting for it to die. It's been needing to be replaced for many years. The audio is awful. We had no visual," she said.
Those council chambers changes will include:
• Suspending two projectors from the ceiling.
• Installation of motorized 65-inch by 104-inch projector screens on the front and rear walls in the meeting room.
• Addition of a digital signal processor for mixing and routing of comments by Council members to a digital recorder.
• Purchase of an audio amplifier that will be connected to six speakers which will be suspended from the ceiling.
"Everyone in the audience will be able to hear now. We'll be able to give presentations without dragging in screens and projectors," said Vance.
The upgrades will also have an impact in Vance's office.
"This will make our lives easier in this office as far as efficiency. When Becky (Graves, deputy city clerk) transcribes the minutes from the meetings she has a horrible time hearing. With having this digital recording a lot of it can go from voice to data. It will just be a lot simpler," said Vance.
The cost of the upgrades is $36,166, which is $6,166 more than the city had budgeted.
"I had anticipated it would be a little bit less as we were going to do it in phases originally, but once we received quotes we found that it would be more cost effective to go ahead and do the entire project (all at once)," said Vance, who told the Council in early April that $30,000 of the funds will come from the City Hall Capital Outlay Fund while the remainder will be taken from the Contingency Fund.
Tim Basch of Communitronics Corp., which is based in St. Louis, reported the work at city hall started on Monday and would be done on Thursday.
"I'm a little nervous. I have to leave early Friday. I'm hoping they can train me before I have to go so I'll know what the heck I'm doing come Tuesday," said Vance.
Page 2 of 2 - Last year, just under $18, 000 was spent to install new carpeting, replace the wood on the Council dais, resurface the conference table, do some painting and reupholster audience seats in council chambers. Also added were mural images of Mark Twain, the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse, and Tom and Huck statue.
"I'm probably more excited about this (technology upgrade) than I was even the physical changes," said Vance.