Residents not inclined to venture out to observe the goings-on of their local government may soon be able to tune in to Haines Borough Assembly meetings live on their televisions.

Borough staff members are investigating options for broadcasting live assembly and planning commission meetings on local cable television, interim manager Julie Cozzi said.

They are also looking into providing live streaming through the borough’s website, Cozzi said.

Assembly member Dave Berry, who has raised the issue several times over the past few years, said about a dozen people have approached him to say they would like to see live, televised meetings either on TV or the Internet.

“The population of this valley is getting older than dirt. A lot of people when they get through working, they just want to stay home,” Berry said. “People say, ‘Hey, let’s get into the 21st century.’”

Haines Cable TV owner Patty Campbell recently provided the borough with a cost estimate to provide live broadcasting on local cable, which comes out to about $5,500.

Cozzi said she isn’t opposed to streaming the meetings live, though she would rather focus on improving the audio recording system in the assembly chambers or uploading a copy of the audio recording to the borough website after the meeting.

“I don’t think it would add to the public process to have it streamed live as opposed to having a recording made available on the website after-the-fact. It would have to include some means for interaction to add to the public process,” Cozzi said.

Mayor Stephanie Scott said staff is looking at a variety of ways to engage the community in government besides just putting live meetings on TV.

One of those options is SpeakUp, a program that allows governments to interact and collaborate with citizens over the Internet.

“I think with SpeakUp it allows everyone to see what everyone else is saying. The community needs to talk to one another as well as to the elected representatives,” Scott said.

Whether to invest in any of these upgrades will be discussed during upcoming budget meetings, Scott said.

“There’s a limited number of dollars to go around, so we have to balance it,” she said. “It is expensive, but we live in a democracy, so we have to agree as a community that the expense is worth it.”

Assembly meetings are currently aired on cable after-the-fact.