Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

June 20, 2013

High speed service possible for town

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Town of Lockport residents without a high speed Internet connection may be able to log on soon. And quickly.

On Wednesday, the Town Board discussed an initiative that started in the Niagara County Legislature to bring high speed Internet to rural areas. It’s a wireless system that would be installed in order to bring the service to areas currently without it.

Supervisor Marc R. Smith said a good portion of the town —  it’s estimated about 15 to 20 percent of residents — does not receive high speed Internet service, particularly in the North End and along the town’s eastern border.

“This is how we run our society these days,” Smith said. “If we don’t have the availability of that service, people are missing out.”

What the county is asking of the town is a three-step request, Smith said. The first is to complete a survey, looking at which areas of the town have high speed Internet. The town can do the survey itself or pay $4,800 to have it done by a third-party.

Councilman Paul W. Siejak said he was apprehensive of government getting involved in something business-like, such as providing Internet service.

“I don’t think it’s the government’s job,” Siejak said.

Board members felt more discussion was needed and will meet with Legislator David Godfrey, who is leading the broadband initiative.

• In other town news, officials will look for a cheaper way to carry out a townwide reassessment program.

The Town Board voted Wednesday to table approval of a contract with GAR Associates. GAR would assist with the program at a total cost of $65,000, which is three times higher than expected, Smith said.

The board will seek proposals. The process isn’t expected to slow down the reassessment.

• The town scheduled a public hearing on demolishing a house on Tonawanda Creek Road, for 1:30 p.m. July 24 at the town hall on Dysinger Road.

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