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St. Lawrence County Planning Department will have virtual meetings

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CANTON — To cut its budget for 2014 by $1,000, the St. Lawrence County Planning Department will try a virtual experiment.

Instead of having meetings of the Planning Board’s executive committee in person in Canton, which requires members from across the county to drive, the department will use computers for teleconferencing.

“We have the technology,” Deputy Director Jason C. Pfotenhauer said.

Using computers for meetings where participants are far apart leaves much to be desired, said Legislator Alex A. MacKinnon, R-Fowler. Mr. MacKinnon attended meetings of the Board of Legislators via Skype in February while he was in Florida.

“It’s marginal at best,” he said.

However, Mr. Pfotenhauer said he expects most of the meeting business to take place over the telephone, with the video aspect used more for members to look at plans and drawings.

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