By Karlene Skretting
Westwind Weekly News
On Tuesday evening (Feb.3), Raymond council unanimously voted to approve a $1,500 increase to the Broadband Committee’s operating budget to finish the installation of the free public Wi-Fi network at Town facilities.
At the end of 2014, council approved an initial $6,000 budget for the installation of free public Wi-Fi at Town facilities, bringing the total budget to $7,500.
“Because of the weakening dollar, at this point, we have fallen short. We basically purchased all of the equipment for $6,000 … so I would like to ask council to supply an additional $1,500 so that the equipment can be installed and the project can be completed,” stated Counc. Greg Robinson who also serves as the chair of the Raymond Broadband Committee.
So far the required technological components (radios, cables, antennas, etc.) have been ordered and are currently being shipped to Raymond. The additional approved funds will be used to cover the instillation costs.
Robinson went on to explain that the Committee was given the quotes back in November when they first started meeting and since then the decrease in the Canadian dollar has really impacted the project.
There isn’t much point having them (the technological components) if we can’t use them, is there,” said Mayor George Bohne. Who went on to say he understands the situation with the unpredictability and decrease of the Canadian dollar.
Counc. Wolsey and the rest of council echoed similar thoughts.
During his request for additional funding, Counc. Robinson also noted that, this means that a fewer number of larger antennas will be used to provide the same amount of coverage as originally planned.
Residence can expect to see Wi-Fi installed by the end of March in at least some of the major seasonal buildings, with the remaining facilities to be connected by the end of spring, said Counc. Robinson in an interview with Westwind Weekly earlier in the year.
The facilities include: the Town office, Library, Theatre, Perrett Park, Golf Course, rodeo grandstands, ball diamonds, Seniors Centre, Ice Arena, Pool and Museum.