Timberville became the first town in Rockingham County to live-stream its council meeting on Thursday.

Town Manager Austin Garber said the town began looking into the option of live-streaming roughly three months ago to allow staff and residents to stay connected and as “another form of transparency.”

“Council members know how hard it is to get to meetings,” Garber said. “This gives an opportunity to keep in touch with what is coming up in the town.”

Timberville joined Harrisonburg, Shenandoah County, Waynesboro and Staunton to offer a live-streaming service during meetings.

The town’s first run with live-streaming Thursday garnered more than 20 viewers.

Garber said he hopes that by having town council meetings broadcast through the town’s Facebook page, it will get more people interested in attending in the future.

“Hopefully, it will get the younger generation more interested in local government,” Garber said.

As of Friday, the towns of Bridgewater, Broadway, Dayton, Elkton and Grottoes, along with Rockingham County, do not offer a live-stream service, according to town and county staff.

Alex Wilmer, assistant town manager for Bridgewater, said there are no plans to offer the live-streaming service as town staff continues to get situated in the new Sipe Center.

Garber said he thinks it would be a good idea for other towns to offer the same service.

Future Timberville Town Council meetings are expected to be broadcast on the town’s Facebook page, Garber said, with new equipment to improve streaming quality coming in the future.

Contact Jessica Wetzler at 574-6279 or jwetzler@dnronline.com. Follow Jessica on Twitter @wetzler_jessica

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