WESTFORD — This year's annual town meeting will feature several changes to improve the quality of the meeting for attendees.

technology upgrade

The City of Westford invested more than $55,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds for technology upgrades to enhance audio-visual capabilities for meetings.

The $26,850 in funding was used to purchase 800 additional clickers, for a total of 1,600 clickers available townwide at the time of reporting. Clickers are designated by different colors depending on the room in which the voter plans to vote.

The $9,500 was used to purchase six additional voting pads to streamline the check-in process.

$18,695 was used to purchase equipment to ensure two-way audiovisual streaming between the gymnasium and performing arts center. WestfordCAT purchased and tested equipment to ensure seamless communication between both facilities.

With this equipment, WestfordCAT can set up interactive back-and-forth between three different rooms (or three different buildings if necessary), creating three real-time collaborative meeting rooms without causing latency issues for participants. We can provide it.

Attendees in one room can hear everything in the other room in real-time, and what individuals say can be heard and displayed on screen in both rooms simultaneously.

In addition, WestfordCAT provided two 75-inch flat screen televisions at no cost to the city, which will be installed in the middle of the gymnasium to mirror the screen at the front of the gymnasium, providing visual accessibility for participants.

Attendees who do not vote will be directed to a separate room to watch the meeting livestreamed by WestfordCAT.

Parking and lunch

The City of Westford once again offered free transportation and free child care to residents. However, residents who park in his two new satellite parking lots at Crisafulli Elementary School and Robinson Elementary School will also have access to a shuttle bus from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition, 26 spaces in front of Westford Academy will be designated as accessible spaces for voters with a disability placard. Several police officers will also be on duty to direct traffic.

Food can be purchased with cash in the morning as well as during the 45 minute lunch time. Residents may also bring their own lunch. Due to parking and time constraints, residents are advised not to leave the premises for lunch.

Check-in will begin at 8 a.m. in the Westford Academy lobby in advance of the March 23 meeting.Town meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

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