Rural Leeds and Grenville to get major Internet access boostPosted Feb 7, 2013 By EMC News
EMC News - The following are highlights of the regular United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Council meeting held Jan. 24 and the Joint Services Committee of Leeds and Grenville on Jan. 23.
Access to high-speed broadband services in Leeds and Grenville is about to improve dramatically, Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) officials told the Joint Services Committee on Jan. 23.
Project co-lead Jim Pine said 92 per cent of Leeds-Grenville households and businesses will have access to wired or wireless service by the end of this year. The Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus (EOWC) initiated the $170-million EORN project a few years ago to bring high speed Internet service to all of eastern Ontario, from Northumberland and Kawartha Lakes counties to the west, north to Renfrew County and east to the Quebec border.
Leeds-Grenville consists of two zones being wired this year: Thousand Islands and Ottawa Valley South. These zones cover the entire region of Leeds and Grenville. Some of the work is already complete, including areas around Kemptville. The Thousand Islands zone will have 15 new PoP (Points of Presence) with upgrades to 12 existing PoP sites. There will be 21 PoPs in Ottawa Valley South zone.
Once complete in early 2014, EORN officials say the network will provide access to 1.1 million eastern Ontario residents. The next steps for EORN are to seek Requests For Proposals (RFPs) for business and industrial parks in eastern Ontario and to develop a strategy to maximize the economic development benefits of the network.
COUNTIES FINALIZE DEAL FOR NEW FIRE DISPATCH SYSTEM
Counties Council finalized a bylaw agreement on Jan. 24 with Glentel Inc. for the supply and installation of Digital Simulcast Voice and Paging System. The agreement means Leeds Grenville will move from an analog to a digital service to improve the area's overall fire communication system.
The Counties are covering the cost of the basic infrastructure, including towers and related equipment, and the dispatch system. The total cost of the project is $5.9 million with the Counties portion being approximately $3.8 million. Participating municipal fire departments purchase their own radios and pagers.
Approval of the agreement comes after four years of consultation with local municipalities and their fire departments. Work will begin in February. The system is expected to be live in the first quarter of 2014.
COUNTIES SEEK BRIDGE INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING
Counties Council has submitted an Expression of Interest in Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative (MIII) funding for the Gananoque River Bridge on County Road 32, just north of the town.
The total cost of the bridge rehabilitation is estimated at $1.2 million.
The Counties is also supporting an Expression of Interest to the province by the Municipality of North Grenville to reconstruct water and sewer lines on Saunders Street (County Road 44) in Kemptville. Expressions of Interest are required before an application can be submitted to ensure projects are suitable under the MIII.
ONTARIO EARLY YEARS CENTRES REVIEW PRESENTED
The Joint Services Committee deferred any cost-cutting decisions on Ontario Early Years Centres following a presentation at the Jan. 23 meeting. Integrated Program Delivery Manager Kim Little outlined services available within the Counties each year to 1,100 families and 1,400 children. Core services include early learning activities, parenting and family support, early literacy initiatives, information and linkages and community outreach. The program operates through a provincial allocation of $749,550 each year as well as municipal funding. The budget estimate for this year is $875,505.
The main Ontario Early Years Centre is located in Brockville with satellite offices in Prescott, Kemptville and Gananoque. There is also a mobile outreach program to 10 of 13 municipalities.
The next meetings are: public works committee on Feb. 5, governance and finance committee on Feb. 7, joint services committee on Feb. 20. Counties Council will meet on Feb. 21. All meetings begin at 9 a.m. in the council chamber, 25 Central Avenue West, Brockville, unless otherwise noted. Please note: Delegations are heard at committee meetings.
Submitted by the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville.
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