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Virtual Public Involvement Meetings

COVID-19 Solutions: Virtual Public Involvement Meetings

Maggie Kearns

July 14, 2020

Need a way to connect with residents, business owners, stakeholders, and the greater community? Our team is moving public involvement meetings to the web to help you do just that.

 

Public involvement meetings educate and engage a wide audience of stakeholders in the information sharing and discussion phase of a project. Stakeholders include the impacted residents, businesses, stakeholders, local officials, emergency service providers, and any other interested members of the community. Traditionally, public involvement meetings take place at a local community meeting place, but today that presents an issue.  

 

New health and safety guidelines mean we need a new alternative to meeting in person - enter virtual public involvement meetings.

THE INS + OUTS OF A VIRTUAL PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT MEETING

Public involvement meetings are an important tool in spreading awareness and acting as a launch pad for sourcing new ideas and public opinions. Not only is it a requirement of the Project Development Process, but we also can’t afford to lose this valuable project insight! With all participants’ best interests and health in mind we can all gather to share this same information on the web.

 

The project management and design team, along with members of the project owners will present the project, details, and alternatives to an audience via live stream. During the presentation, the audience can submit questions. Questions can be submitted in a variety of ways to accommodate preferences. When the presentation concludes, the project management and design team will work through the submitted questions to make sure each is answered.

 

When the live stream concludes member of the community will be able to access the following on the webpage:

 

  • Invite letter
  • Business flyer
  • Graphics
  • Presentation
  • Livestream video
  • Comment sheet
  • Q&A document

BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT MEETINGS

There are many benefits to moving public involvement meetings to the web. They include:

 

  • Prioritizing the health and safety of everyone involved
  • All project information stored in one place
  • Community members can view the presentation at a later date should they not be able to make it to the livestream
  • No need to reserve a space to have the meeting
  • No limit to how many people can attend or engage online
  • No printed handouts – An unexpected environmentally friendly benefit!

SUCCESS WITH WESTERN RESERVE ROAD VIRTUAL PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT MEETING

Recently, a virtual public involvement meeting was held for the Western Reserve Road project in Mahoning County, Ohio. The project proposes widening the road to accommodate dedicated turn lanes at key intersections, in addition to new curbs, roadway drainage improvements, new traffic signals, traffic signs, and pavement markings. This is an important project for the community as it will relieve congestion, improve safety and reduce crash rates, and support economic development in Boardman and Beaver Townships.

 

ms consultants along with the Mahoning County Engineer’s Office and the ODOT Public Involvement Coordinator, worked to streamline the process of inviting participants to the meeting, troubleshooting the livestream platforms, and successfully integrating the presentation component into a medium everyone could interact with. This is one of the first ODOT project presented in this way and certainly won’t be the last.

 

Mr. Gery Noirot, District Deputy Director for ODOT District 4, participated as a viewer of the virtual meeting and commented, “The Team at District 4 would like to give a shout out to ms consultants and the Mahoning County Engineer’s Office for a great job tonight on the PI meeting for the Western Reserve Road Widening Project.”

SET UP A VIRTUAL PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT MEETING TODAY

We can’t wait to further develop the virtual meeting format and new opportunities as projects arise. Residents, stakeholders, local officials, and project leaders can all benefit from the virtual public involvement meeting form!

 

Does this sound like just the solution your community is looking for? Contact our team today to get started planning your virtual public involvement meeting!