RICHMOND — Residents and others interested in what takes place at meetings of the Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board now don’t have to set foot in the Town Office to watch the action and debate.

They can watch and listen to the meetings anywhere and anytime if they’ve got a computer or other communication device and an Internet connection.

Meetings of those two boards are live-streamed to the Internet at townhallstreams.com/locations/richmond-me, where they can be watched live and where they will remain posted for viewing at any time.

“We’ve had people asking about this type of thing in the past. They want to know what is going on at meetings but don’t necessarily have time to come to them,” said Peter Warner, chairman of the selectmen. “I think it’s a good thing. Anything we can do to keep the public informed.”

A fixed camera mounted in the meeting room at the Richmond Town Office monitors and records the meetings of selectmen and the Planning Board, and it also has been used at two Budget Committee meetings. Microphones are placed around the room to collect and record audio from the meetings.

The high-mounted camera is pointed at tables and desks where members of the town boards sit, and a chair and a desk also are placed within the camera’s view where people speaking to the boards can sit so they also are captured on the stream and recording.

Warner said the service is funded with money from the town’s cable reserve account, which he said is intended to be used for such activities.

Town Manager Janet Smith said the service, from provider Town Hall Streams, costs $200 a month, and the firm provides a camera and microphone setup for the meeting room in the Town Office.

The streams are accessible both at the Town Hall Streams site and by following a link at the town’s website.

Viewers can watch the proceedings live or go into the online archive to view past meetings.

The first recorded selectmen’s meeting took place April 1.

“I’ve used it myself a couple of times to see exactly what happened at a meeting,” Warner said.

The town borrowed a camera from the town of Durham to record the annual Town Meeting on June 2. The annual meeting wasn’t streamed live, but it will be posted online once the video is converted to the proper digital format, Warner said. It is not yet available for viewing.

Other local municipalities that stream some of their public meetings online include Augusta, Gardiner, Bowdoinham and Wiscasset.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj