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November 30, 2020 - 12:22pm

City to select firm to provide high-speed fiber/internet connectivity

The City of Batavia is taking a “fix it before it breaks” approach to upgrading the internet functionality at its facilities.

City Council, at its Dec. 14 Business Meeting, is expected to vote on a resolution to contract with an internet provider to equip the municipality with a secure, high-speed fiber connection.

Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski reported at last week’s Conference Meeting that she received nine proposals, including bids from local companies Empire Access, Spectrum and Marchese Computer Products (in tandem with another firm).

Tabelski, in a memo to Council dated Nov. 17, wrote that the current point-to-point/multi-point radio controlled wireless system that connects City facilities shows signs of aging (it is believed to be at least 12 years old) – and is beset by "sporadic internet connectivity and very slow connection speeds.”

She also emphasized that if a radio should malfunction completely, the cost to repair it could climb as high as $35,000.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said the City should “get ahead of it before it breaks down and we have to fix it.”

The resolution set to come before Council calls for the board to approve a long-term service agreement with the selected provider (to be determined). Originally, Tabelski planned for a capital cost not to exceed $25,000 to complete the internet fiber project.

In another development, Council forwarded a resolution to the Dec. 14 Business Meeting that grants the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation access to a small parcel of the Dwyer Stadium property at 267 Bank St. for environmental contamination cleanup in connection with remedial work at the Batavia Iron and Metal site next door, at 301 Bank St.

Previously, the DEC was given permission to access land at 299 Bank St., which also is part of the Dwyer Stadium property. Additional remedial work is scheduled for that parcel as well.

Tabelski, in a memo dated Nov. 16, wrote that the DEC expects minimal disturbance in the Dwyer Stadium parking area (267 Bank St.). She said the DEC plans to solicit bids for a contractor next spring and start work in the late summer or early fall.

City Attorney George Van Nest said that the city will be protected through insurance and access agreements with the chosen contractor.

A letter from the DEC to the city indicated that remedial activities generally will include “excavation and offset disposal of contaminated soils and sediment, soil sampling, backfilling excavations with clean soil, surveying and property restoration.”

The DEC is responsible for all expenses involved in the cleanup operation.

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