Mecklenburg County has been asked to partner with the City of
Charlotte and several other government entities to pursue a $30
million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA). The grant would be used to fund the
implementation of a county-wide wireless data network.
The grant requires a 25% in-kind match, which can be met with current
staff participation, tower sites, and other internal resources. The
City will lead this project, envisioning a data network that is used
by public safety and other local government agencies that need
wireless services. These agencies include UNC-Charlotte, Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) and Central Piedmont Community College
(CPCC). The Charlotte Housing Authority and the Public Library also
would participate in this project, focusing on providing wireless
services to underserved areas and low-income residents.
The annual operating costs for this project are estimated to be $5-$6
million a year. These costs would be funded by agency user subscriber
fees at well below commercial rates. Subscribers would include public
agencies as well as the segments of the general public that fit the
criteria below. The fees also would be used to fund upgrades to the
technology, which typically are needed every five years.
Guidelines for submitting the grant are still being gathered but
current estimates indicate the grant applications will be due in
September of 2009 and funds will be distributed beginning December
2009. The grant requires that projects must:
• Provide improved access to broadband service to people in
underserved areas of the U.S.
• Provide broadband equipment and access, education, awareness,
training, and support to schools, libraries, healthcare providers,
community colleges and higher education, and other community support
• Improve access and use of broadband service by public safety agencies
Based on these criteria, our plans for a county-wide wireless network
should meet the grant requirements. It is estimated that it will be a
two-year project to build and implement the wireless data network.
The City Council will consider a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at
its July 20 meeting. The MOU will then be presented to the Board of
County Commissioners for consideration in August.
For additional information, contract IST Director Jerry Pinkard at Jerry.Pinkard@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
Park and Recreation Reservation System Upgrade
Because of its wide use and popularity, Board members should be aware
that the Park and Recreation Department's facility reservation system
will be offline from June 26 – 30. During this time, the system will
be upgraded to improve customer service and efficiency. This upgrade
will include redeveloping the database and accounts for Park and
Recreation Department customers.
While the system is offline, people may continue to register for
recreation programs and reserve facilities by calling the City/County
Customer Service Center at 311 or Park and Recreation at 704-336-3854.
We anticipate the online reservation system to be available again at 8
a.m. on July 1.
Northwest Campus Health Department Ribbon Cutting
As a reminder, the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Health Department's
Northwest Campus will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 15.
To RSVP or for more information, please contact Kymberlye Worthey at
704-336-6448 or Kymberlye.Worthey@CarolinasHealthcare.org.