Princeton City Council moves forward with public WiFi partnership

During Tuesday’s Princeton City Council meeting, council members voted to move forward with a partnership with T-Mobile. The agreement brings WiFi access to public spaces via mobile hotspots.

Princeton City Council met Tuesday to discuss public WiFi initiatives, police station renovations, and other business.

“I’ve already reached out to T-Mobile. We’re working on getting the equipment sent our way, and we’ll get it installed and have the free WiFi hotspots available to our citizens,” Mayor Dakota Young said.

Young and the council agreed to buy 10 mobile hotspots from T-Mobile, establishing a new partnership that provides a public WiFi system to the community.

Young said the cost for the 10 hotspots is $13,500, not including other monthly service fees.

Under the agreement with T-Mobile, city personnel would have the authority to monitor usage and enforce security protocols. Also, the council would have the ability to buy additional hotspots if necessary.

“The equipment is in stock, so there shouldn’t be too much of a turnaround,” Young said.

The council agreed public WiFi in spaces like parks, downtown, and areas on U.S. 62 best serves the community’s needs. The first hotspot is expected to be activated at the end of the month, Young said.

Another item of business was the police station renovation. Young said the fiscal year 2021-2022 budget allows for a police station renovation.

He noted the possibility of updating the current facility has been a topic of discussion for a couple of years now.

“We’ve been working with an architect to come up with some schematics to show what a renovation of our current police station would look like,” Young said.

Police personnel is using office space once occupied by the fire department and public works — the building was the old city hall. He informed the council that outfitting the current facility with updates and additions is more feasible than constructing a new facility off-site.

The council is scheduled to take a tour of the police station and review the proposed design.