Katy City Council prepares to resume in-person meetings

Katy City Council unanimously approved an agreement for Dallas-based Swagit Productions LLC to livestream council meetings. (YouTube screenshot)
Katy City Council unanimously approved an agreement for Dallas-based Swagit Productions LLC to livestream council meetings. (YouTube screenshot)

Katy City Council unanimously approved an agreement for Dallas-based Swagit Productions LLC to livestream council meetings. (YouTube screenshot)

Katy City Council unanimously approved hiring Dallas-based Swagit Productions LLC to livestream its meetings at an Oct. 26 special meeting.

Katy City Council has been livestreaming its meetings, held via Zoom, and uploading them to YouTube for residents to view for as long as pandemic regulations have been in place.

Council has talked about hiring Swagit Productions LLC for live streaming services since 2019, but there were questions around the legality of recording any committees outside of City Council and about the cost, Katy Mayor Bill Hastings told Community Impact Newspaper last year.

“The initiative to purchase the Swagit video equipment and support is in preparation of resuming in-person council meetings,” City Administrator Byron Hebert told Community Impact Newspaper. “When we do resume with in-person meetings, we want to be sure that we do so in a manner that provides our citizens with the option of viewing the council meetings from the safety of their home.”

For the moment, council is unable to resume in-person meetings as the coronavirus spread in Harris County remains at the highest possible level, which is Level 1: Stay Home, Hebert added.


As for the costs associated with Swagit, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which established the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, will cover the full amount of $61,730. The annual fee of $17,130 will have to be budgeted in subsequent years, Hebert said.

Equipment and software setup will cost $44,600, and the annual managed meeting services and social media streaming will cost $17,130.

Swagit, which works with many local entities, will do all of the camera work remotely.

If the city decides to expand to record all boards, the city will consider alternative packets in a future budget, City Secretary Becky McGrew said at the meeting.

“We have an opportunity here to have the CARES Act pay for the bones—the cameras, the setup, the recordings, audio,” Hebert said at the meeting.
By Nola Valente
A native Texan, Nola serves as reporter for the Katy edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She studied print journalism at the University of Houston and French at the University of Paris-Sorbonne in France. Nola was previously a foreign correspondent in Jerusalem, Israel covering Middle East news through an internship with an American news outlet.


MOST RECENT

L1 Foot and Bodyworks is now open at 23112 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Katy. (Courtesy L1 Foot and Bodyworks)
L1 Foot and Bodyworks now open in Katy

The business offers Swedish massages, deep-tissue massages and reflexology as well as a variety of combination packages.

There are more than 400 board games available to play at Battlehops Brewing. (Morgan Theophil/Community Impact Newspaper)
Family-owned business brings beer, board games to Katy

Most people who walk into Battlehops Brewing in Old Katy say they have never seen so many board games in one place.

Maverick Remodeling and Construction employees use electronic gauges to determine how well a League City house that flooded from bust pipes is drying. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Freeze-damaged homes might qualify for property tax reduction

As of March 31, HCAD said it had only received about 150 applications for the exemption.

Money to begin the Wallis Street project was approved by voters in November as part of Fort Bend County’s $218.2 million mobility bond. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Fort Bend County transportation bond to fund ‘unique’ downtown Fulshear project

To improve mobility in downtown Fulshear for both cars and pedestrians, the city, along with Fort Bend County, is working to convert Wallis and Main streets into a one-way pair.

As part of President Joe Biden’s plan to reopen schools safely nationwide, the department’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option is being expanded beyond the summertime. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
USDA extends free school meals provision through 2021-22 school year

Schools nationwide will be able to serve nutritious meals to all students free of charge regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022, officials announced.

The Houston-area wing restaurant will open a location in Katy at 22762 Westheimer Parkway this summer. (Courtesy Big City Wings)
Big City Wings location coming to Katy this summer

Big City Wings will offer a variety of wings, burgers, sandwiches, salads, beer, and other drink and menu options.

Caroline Bordelon's son Caleb, 9, lives with autism. Caleb is nonverbal and has eloped from home many times. Upon learning about the Take Me Home program, Caroline immediately registered Caleb and said the program is greatly needed and gives her peace and comfort for her family. (Courtesy Hope For Three)
Fort Bend County program provides emergency assistance to residents with cognitive disabilities

A new program run through the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office is designed to give people with cognitive disabilities special assistance if they are found alone or in times of emergency.

Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston region in 2017. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
How Harris County residents can prepare for hurricane season

After the most active hurricane season on record in 2020, Harris County officials said residents should be prepared for the upcoming season starting June 1.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo speaks at an April 19 press conference at a mass-vaccination site at NRG Park. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook Live).
Harris County accepting walk-ins for vaccine at NRG Park

As demand for vaccines has fallen, officials are looking for ways to make them more accessible.

Katy Wines and Spirits will be have a variety of wines and will carry liquor and other options. (Courtesy Creative Commons)
Katy Wines and Spirits coming soon to area

Katy Wines and Spirits will open a location at 5901 Highway Blvd., Katy, this summer.