Board of Commissioners OKs purchase of new courtroom sound system

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 11:23 am on Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Members of the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners meet Monday afternoon during the monthly Board of Commissioners meeting at the Montcalm County Administration Building. — Daily News/Cory Smith

STANTON — The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to allow the purchase of a new sound system for the Montcalm Juvenile/Probate Courtroom.

Judge Charles Simon approached the commissioners Monday and said the current system is no longer effective after having been in use for more than 10 years.

“The current sound system is outdated and the court has made every effort to fix the issues without proceeding to the purchase of a new system,” Simon said. “However, at this point in time there is nothing further that can be done to correct the situation.”

According to Simon, the software for the system is out of date and there is feedback when the microphones are used that interrupts court hearings.

Simon said there is also crackling in the speakers and several of the microphones do not pick up any sound, making it “almost impossible” to transcribe a hearing.

“Transcription of court hearings is imperative,” he said.

The current four-channel system will be replaced by an eight-channel system, at a total cost of $12,202.57.

The cost figure includes a new updated computer to run new software.

Simon said Circuit Court has reported that they purchased the same system from BIS Digital and claims that it works “very well.”

“The sound quality is excellent and they are very happy with the product and service,” he said.

County Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer said only one quote, from BIS Digital, was sought, because they supplied updated equipment for the other courts.

“They got a quote from the current vender, and the reason they only went with one quote was to stay consistent so all the courts are using the same system,” Hyzer said.

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