Wi-Fi for Centennial Park considered

PLYMOUTH — The Board of Public Works and Safety heard an interesting proposal Monday from DC Tech owner Dan Sammartano. DC Tech is a small Internet company based in Plymouth that currently provides a limited amount of free Wi-Fi to the downtown area, in exchange for attaching DC Tech equipment to city water towers. Sammartano requested to put additional equipment on the city’s west water tower in order for the company to service Yogi Bear Jellystone Park.
“They need a large amount of bandwidth (to cover the area),” said Sammartano to board members.
In exchange for permission to do this, Sammartano said that DC Tech would be willing to provide free Internet access to the Centennial Park area. The equipment for park Wi-Fi is already in place on the city’s east water tower.
“We did that in anticipation of someday having Wi-Fi in the park,” noted Sammartano.
However, about $2,000 is needed to purchase repeaters to extend service throughout the park. Dave Morrow, of the park board, was present and asked if DC Tech might cover the cost of repeaters. Sammartano said that the company is too small to support that cost. Other ideas presented by various board members and discussed were: obtaining funding for the repeaters partly from the park budget and partly from private donations, or asking the Blueberry Festival Committee to cover the cost.
Mayor Mark Senter asked city utility superintendent Donnie Davidson to address the issue of attaching additional equipment to the city water towers.
“It’s a homeland security issue,” said Davidson, continuing, “We would want to have someone there every time work is done (on the equipment)…this is the city water supply we are talking about here.”
However, Davidson added that he had worked with DC Tech before and they were very professional and cooperative. He also stated that he believes Wi-Fi in the park would be a good idea for the city.
Board members were reluctant to vote on the issue because it is unknown where the money for Wi-Fi repeaters would come from. As a result, Sammartano’s request was tabled until the board’s June 11 meeting. This will also give the park board a chance to discuss the situation in their June 4 meeting.