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County Internet deal may save $466K

County commissioners unanimously signed off on a co-location agreement Monday, that could save the county nearly half a million dollars for the cost of Internet access over the next decade.

Dante’ Patterson, chief information officer for Lincoln County, presented the agreement between the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina and the county, which will involve MCNC placing equipment within the county’s information technology operations in exchange for improved Internet access and cost savings.

The partnership is part of an expansion funded by awards MCNC received from the U.S. Department of Commerce Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.

“We will save money by allowing them to place equipment in our facility,” Patterson said.

According to the document provided by Patterson, the agreement will “consist of Lincoln County providing physical space, power, HVAC, security and access to MCNC equipment.”

Patterson also said that the county’s Internet capacity will be increased by about 12 times what it is now, with the bandwidth expanding from 20MB to 250MB. And the projected expenditure for the period of 10 years will be reduced by $466,058.

Commissioner George Arena confirmed that the agreement was just an “equipment-and-access agreement,” and Patterson replied that it would be “totally nondiscretionary.”

In other board of commissioners action at Monday’s meeting:

  • The Regional Hazard Mitigation Planning Grant, which involves joining with Gaston and Cleveland counties to consolidate plans, was passed unanimously.

  • Pathways’ merger plans were presented and passed unanimously.

  • Department of Social Services Director Susan McCracken presented the 2012-2014 Work First County Plan, noting innovative strategies “set up to put people to work.” She said the plan included “changes that allow us to do a better job for these families,” adding that it will enable them to support and train people who “simply cannot find jobs.” Commissioners unanimously approved the motion.

  • A public hearing was conducted for the purchase of three new American Emergency Vehicle ambulances, costing $364,008. Assistant County Manager Martha Lide presented the proposal to approve the purchase order to Northwestern Emergency Vehicles in West Jefferson, which was passed unanimously.

  • An approval of bids for library furnishings was unanimously passed.

  • A notification of the Rock Springs Grant Award-PARTF Grant of $415,000 was given by Erma Deen Hoyle, director of the Lincoln County Parks and Recreation Department.

  • Jessie Townsend was appointed to the county’s Jury Commission.


SARAH LOWERY, Staff Writer

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