The competition to bring a broadband network to under-serviced rural areas in Quinte West is getting larger.
On Monday night, council was presented with a report showing the municipality is now supporting three groups looking to secure funding through the Connect to Innovate program. The Canal-District Rural Broadband Initiative was the first, now Bell Canada and Airnet Wireless Inc have stepped up.
City Clerk Kevin Heath says the City is allowed to support as many as they want, as long as the plans seem viable.
In previous presentations to council, Dave Dingle of The Canal-District Rural Broadband said the plan is to bring faster internet service to every rural resident and business in Quinte West and Brighton. The project is expected to cost $1.5 million and he said the group has roughly $550,000 acquired right now.
In other business, council signed a bylaw authorizing the mayor and clerk to sign a transfer payment agreement with the provincial government for the purpose of receiving $169,941 from phase one of the public transit infrastructure fund.
In October 2016, the city submitted an application to obtain funding for two projects: the purchase of two new specialized transit buses to replace aging vehicles in the fleet as well as design and planning for new office space for Quinte Access at the former public works building.
The total cost of the proposed projects is $367,550. The City’s portion is $197,609 and has been included in the 2017 capital budget.
Meanwhile, Quinte West has appointed councillor Allan DeWitt to the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board of Directors for the 2017/18 fiscal year. Councillor Michael Kotsovos was appointed as an alternate to the board aimed at drawing visitors and new residents to the region. Manager Economic Development and Tourism Linda Lisle was appointed to the nominating committee for the 2017/18 election process.