City to expand downtown wireless Internet coverage
Thursday, May 08, 2014 11:00 AM
Madison is expanding its downtown wireless Internet coverage, city officials announced at Wednesday's City Council meeting.
Community Relations Manager Andrew Forrester said limited coverage will be available before the RiverRoots festival next weekend.
Coverage will be provided at the Broadway Fountain first, with the equipment being housed at the Galena Garlic Co. In the following week, Forrester said he expects wireless service to be set up at the Crystal Beach pool.
Wireless Internet is already provided at Bicentennial Park. Forrester said the coverage area could be expanded. The city is also looking at putting in wireless Internet in other locations.
"We're looking at Rucker Sports Complex in the near future and the Main Street shopping area," Forrester said.
The only cost to the city is the one-time equipment and labor costs, which Forrester said will be done through MircoDome Computers Inc. Operational costs will be covered by Metronet Inc., Forrester said.
The city will also install at least four information kiosks downtown, including a few before RiverRoots.
The kiosks will have maps of Madison, and include information about places to eat, shop or stay the night, Forrester said.
The first two locations the city intends to install the kiosks are in front of the Comfort Station and near the restrooms at Bicentennial Park. Two additional kiosks are scheduled to be installed at the intersections of Main and Jefferson streets and Main and Mill streets.
In other business:
Streets Superintendent Doug Vest gave a report on the first weeks of the city's new recycling program. Vest said some people haven't understood that items can just be placed into the new red recycling bins.
"People haven't got the info that we're not accepting (recyclables in) bags," Vest said.
Recycling crews will give residents some leniency for a few weeks, but eventually will not accept recyclables packed in plastic bags.
City Building Inspector Mark Johnson announced the unsafe building at 213 Cravens St. is scheduled to be demolished Monday. Johnson also said he is having weekly conversations with the owners of the abandoned strip mall at the intersection of Clifty Drive and Michigan Road. The goal is to clean up the buildings or to tear them down.
The Council held a first reading on two ordinances that would rezone properties. One would change 175, 200+ and 301 Demaree Drive from high-density residential to general business. The other would change 707, 709 and 711 W. First St. from heavy manufacturing to historic district residential.
The second reading will be held May 20.
The Council held the second reading on an ordinance that would establish a four-way stop sign at the intersection of West and First streets.
The Cable Advisory Board will have a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. today to discuss programming guidelines. Media company WKM News recently partnered with Channel 15 to have its content presented on the public access channel. The initiative passed 8-0.
Controversy arose after WKM aired a paid commercial on the public access channel urging people to vote in favor of the school referendum.
Three board members made the decision to pull WKM from Channel 15. Their programming has since been restored to the channel.
Larry Henry, an advisory board member, said the content was pulled after a perceived conflict of interest arose. He said Digital Dreams, which is part of the WKM News company, has a contract with the Madison Consolidated High School to film graduation. Stephan DeLorenzo, part owner of WKM, said there is no contract, and Digital Dreams films the graduation for free.
Mayor Damon Welch took no sides as to whether or not pulling the content was the right thing to do, but he said three board members should not have the authority to reverse a decision made by the entire board.
The situation will be addressed at the advisory board meeting tonight.