City council purchases audiovisual equipment for City Hall

Sixty-seven percent of Pullman residents favor businesses reopening, according to survey; majority said businesses should require masks



The new city hall is still under construction. The upgraded audiovisual equipment will be installed after construction finishes.

SYDNEY BROWN, Evergreen reporter

City councilmembers approved a $141,000 purchase for upgraded audiovisual equipment in the new city hall. Some members said the ability to broadcast meetings maintains transparency, while others in the council disagreed with the expense considering the city’s financial situation. 

The council approved the contract with Avidex Industries, LLC in a 4-3 vote. Pullman City Administrator Adam Lincoln said the council authorized the purchase in 2017. The council is seeing it again to allow the company to install the new systems.

Pullman Finance Director Mike Urban said the city already budgeted this money to replace the AV equipment in the old city hall, but decided to wait until they finished the new location. 

Just because the city already has the money does not mean it has to spend it, councilmember at large Eileen MacColl said. The council could wait for further projections, she said.

To stall the project would incur more expenses, councilmember Ann Parks said. She also said she recommended the resolution because it would maintain the ability to keep meetings public. 

“If we don’t have the equipment installed in the new city hall … then we are failing in our due diligence to provide transparency and openness to our citizens,” Parks said. 

Councilmember Brandon Chapman said while the installation of broadcasting equipment was important, it was not urgent until the financial situation for the city improves. He said the council should consider budget-friendly options in light of unpredictable times. 

“None of us knew what the revenue was going to do,” Chapman said. “We weren’t planning on coronavirus.” 

Phase 2 Survey 

Also during the meeting, councilmember Dan Records presented the results of a Pullman survey about the city reopening. 

According to the 2,400 completed results, 67 percent said they favored the opening of businesses with the proper restrictions. However, a majority of people said that they want businesses to require masks inside, Records said. 

“One of the best ways that we can get businesses to reopen and reopen successfully is to have improved customer confidence across the board,” Records said. 

Available services 

Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins said he recommended everyone fill out an Employment Security Department form to protect from unemployment fraud, which has recently surged in the region. 

All Pullman Regional Hospital services are now available, including the telehealth resources opened during the coronavirus shutdown, Mayor Glenn Johnson said. 

Pullman will have Fourth of July celebrations at an undisclosed location, Johnson said, with the proper limitations in place. People can donate to the event through the city’s website.