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Orr City Council approves wireless high-speed Internet project

Melissa Roach
Posted 12/6/18

ORR— Residents in Orr should soon have the ability to obtain high-speed Internet access as a result of special city council action here last week.

The council, after some deliberations and …

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Orr City Council approves wireless high-speed Internet project

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ORR— Residents in Orr should soon have the ability to obtain high-speed Internet access as a result of special city council action here last week.

The council, after some deliberations and investigation voted to approve a proposal by Back40Wireless to install wireless transmitters on the city’s water tower.

The agreement allows the company to install and maintain their transmitting equipment on the city-owned tower, which it will use to connect customers within line-of-sight of the tower to high-speed Internet. In exchange, the city will receive internet services at no charge for all its municipal buildings.

Representatives from the company Back40Wireless approached the city council with its proposal earlier this year. With city officials now convinced that the proposal has merit, the council held a special meeting to expedite installation of the new equipment.

Councilors did add a few requirements to the agreement, including that electrical work be completed by a licensed and insured electrician. Additionally, the company will not be permitted to weld its equipment to the water tower, but must use clamps or some other kind of fastener. Mayor Joel Astleford voiced his trust in city maintenance supervisor Paul Koch, “As long as Paul oversees the electric, and he’s good with it.” Councilor Lloyd Scott said he would like Koch to oversee the whole installation.

The council offered no timeline for installation, but company officials had earlier indicated that they would like to have the system installed by the end of the year.

In other action, the council:

‰ Approved a grant agreement with MNDot Aeronautics for the purchase of snow removal equipment. The city was able to limp the old snow plow truck through last winter, but Astleford said the truck is now days away from not working anymore. The grant will fund seventy five percent of the cost, with the city contributing not more than $10,830 for the 2019 3500 Chevrolet truck.

‰ Approved a liability coverage waiver form from the League of Minnesota Cities. The council voted to not waive the monetary limits on the city’s tort liability.

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