As Auburn’s downtown district continues to grow, city officials see a need for an improved public address system, and City Council agrees.
Council on Thursday approved a bid of just under $46,000 by Gainesville-based db Audio & Video over two other companies to install a downtown audio system that would be controlled from a single point and would be expandable as the area grows.
The bid total was slightly higher than the $44,000 one submitted by Westlake, Calif.-based Guitar Center Professional, but city officials recommended db because of its local presence and extensive resume that includes sound system installations at venues such as the Avalan development in Alpharetta and all the 12Stone Church locations.
“They have an impressive track record and the equipment they’re offering is top-notch,” said Dan Pruehs, Auburn’s parks and leisure services director. “This sound system will be used at every festival and every event downtown. It’s weatherproof and something that will get 365-days-a-year use. The sound quality is phenomenal.”
Currently, the city has to set up a portable sound system for festivals and events like “Movie Night,” but the new system will be provide greater flexibility, Pruehs said.
Some of the speakers will be hung from the side of City Hall while the rest will be elevated 16-20 feet up in the air, he said.
Having all communications from the system controlled from a single point will also help law enforcement, Pruehs said.
“From a public safety standpoint, if we have an emergency, the chief or mayor or whoever can hit the microphone and it cuts off all the music and becomes a public address system for public service announcements if we need that immediately without jumping through a bunch of hoops,” he said.
“What I really liked about (an earlier demonstration of the equipment the company gave) was that it is all part of the same system,” Mayor Linda Blechinger added. “In the past with the system we have, when we’ve tried to switch it from music to someone talking, sometimes it doesn’t even work.”
Council members were also at ease with the company being local and one of its employees who presented information on the system earlier this year being a city resident.
“It’s good to have them here,” councilwoman Peggy Langley said. “As far as the money goes, I would rather pay a little more if that means having them here and having a top-notch product.”