COVID-19 Funds Pay for Commissioner Meeting Room Remodel

COVID-19 Funds Pay for Commissioner Meeting Room Remodel

SWEETWATER COUNTY — Last year the Sweetwater County Commissioners approved a remodel for their meeting room, in which adjustments were made to make the room more suitable to COVID-19 Coronavirus health guidelines.

The room was completed early this year and has allowed the Commissioners to return to the courthouse to conduct meetings in person, rather than strictly via video conferencing.

Gene Legerski, Sweetwater County Public Works Director, said the cost of the Commissioner meeting room remodel was approximately $172,000. This remodel and upgrade was paid by COVID-19 funds, including Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding.

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“This cost includes the remodel plus the new furniture, fixtures, and AV equipment,” Legerski said.

Legerski said that the main component of this project was to be able to space everyone six feet apart, which was impossible with the stadium-style seating the room previously had, and to have a way to conduct the county’s business efficiently.

The stadium seating was removed to allow for social distancing and adjustable seating.

“The main part and cost of the project was the AV system which now allows us to conduct a live meeting and also have people zoom into the meeting to make presentations and interact with the Commissioners in a meeting,” Legerski said. “This prevents people from having to come to Green River, and therefore lessens the number of people that we have to have in the room at any one time.”

This means this technology will be useful even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, as it will allow people in communities such as Wamsutter and Farson-Eden to call in for business.

However, this technology is especially important for conducting business amid the pandemic.

“When we were transitioning over from live meetings to the Zoom meetings we tried to have a combined live/zoom meeting and the current AV system wasn’t capable of handling both of these at the same time.  Our IT department spoke with the AV company that was updating all of the courtrooms in Wyoming per direction from the State Supreme Court and they came up with a solution that makes live/zoom meetings possible,” Legerski said.

“The main component of all of this was the AV system which added, microphones, speakers, and screens to the rooms as well as the technology to combine everything,” Legerski added.

As part of the remodel, Legerski said they made the room bigger by removing the stadium seating as well as a bathroom and an office. The seating in the room was also readjusted to improve lighting and camera quality.

“The commissioner seating was rotated from the south to the east to provide for better lighting and have the cameras be able to pick up the meeting in more detail without having shadows and light from the windows,” Legerski said.

The Commissioners’ seating was rotated to the east for better lighting.