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Village wi-fi discussed at Hamburg meeting

HAMBURG — During the work session that preceded the Village of Hamburg Board of Trustees meeting on Aug. 4, the village board members discussed a recent proposal from the cell phone company, Blue Wireless concerning a plan to establish public Wi-Fi in the village.

The proposal from Blue Wireless, presented by graduate student Karl Swartz, would be to cover areas in the village such as parks and the village hall with wireless Internet in exchange for allowing the company to install cell towers near the Long Avenue and Janice Place water towers.

In the proposed plan, residents would be issued user identifications and passwords, which they would use to access the free Wi-Fi at a prompt screen, similar to what people would see when using an airport’s Wi-Fi.

Though Swartz said that those who use the village Wi-Fi would be monitored, as to the content they view on the system as a precautionary measure, the board addressed reservations about issues such as cyber-bullying that may arise, within the use of public Wi-Fi, and questioned if the village could be held responsible for such incidents.

At the end of his time with the board, Swartz said that he would discuss these questions and concerns with Blue Wireless and return to the next board meeting with more information.

During the board meeting, a motion put forth by Trustee Mark Colmerauer to transfer $4,500 to the local police for equipment needed in a police vehicle was approved.

Also approved were two motions concerning the completion of a waterline reconstruction project on Long Avenue. The first motion, put forth by Colmerauer, determined that the project will have no significant environmental impact, and the second motion, put forth by Deputy Mayor Thomas Tallman, approved the payment of annual public fire protection fees for an additional fire hydrant to be installed on Long Avenue by the Erie County Water Authority.

The next Village of Hamburg Board meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Aug. 18, with a work session to precede it at 5:30 p.m.


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