A great deal of discussion did not lead to a decision being made in regard to a continuation of the City of Piedmont’s contract with ITS – which is the wireless internet provider for the City and its school system.
The Chief Operations Officer for ITS, Quincy Minor, and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Drury met with the Piedmont City Council Tuesday night to discuss the situation and explain the company’s position should the City discontinue the allocation of the $6,250 to the School Board.
A School Board representative on hand to explain to the council that the Board couldn’t continue to pay the full amount of the service since the City cut off allocations to the School Board several months ago.
Drury told the Council that if the School Board stopped paying for the services they would have no choice but to discontinue the service – which is the backbone of the school system’s MPower Program for students who have MacBook computers. Students carry those computers home on a daily basis rather than use text books.
Minor told the council they could utilize the huge data pipeline for each department including the use of wireless cameras around the city – he went on to say that they could even use a portion for re-sale to local businesses and residents – in essence, using wireless internet as another utility for the City.
The money that the City has been allocating to the school system, is derived from ITS leasing the fiber optic cable from the City; the lease amount is $6,500 per month which nets the City $250 to cover the cost of receiving the funds, depositing them into the bank and then writing the check to the School Board. However, all this goes away should the City choose to discontinue the ten year contract.
As of today, Piedmont is the only municipality in the state which has wireless internet service for its citizens and the Piedmont School System is one of the most technologically advanced systems in the entire country.
Piedmont Mayor Bill Baker spoke with WEIS Radio News following the meeting
The Council voted to have another work session that would include the ITS representatives – and the School Board, in an attempt to settle the issue.
The date for that work session has yet to be decided.
The residents of Piedmont will soon be able to purchase alcohol on Sunday.
During the Tuesday night meeting of the Piedmont City Council – the council members passed a resolution asking for the measure to be approved by the state.
Mayor Bill Baker explains the process
In other business the Centre-Piedmont-Cherokee County Regional Airport Authority is now back up to full capacity with the addition of Lee Hubbard.
Hubbard was nominated by Councilman Kenny Kelly, while Council Member Brenda Spears put forth the name of Charlie Fagan and Councilman Harper suggested Stanley Todd as an appointee
Following a vote by the council, Hubbard was given the nod although there were some questions in regard to his residency
Hubbard replaces Joe Lively as the Piedmont representative on the Airport Authority Board after Lively’s recent resignation following 13 years of service.
Also during the meeting the council approved the annual longevity pay for the 89 city employees in the amount of $12,130 – that motion passed following lengthy discussion; that increase will be reflected in the next paycheck of those on the city payroll.