Dare says no to CenturyLink proposal, yes to new youth center building – The Coastland Times

The Dare County Board of Commissioners rejected a proposed memorandum of understanding from CenturyLink to partner on a GREAT program grant through the North Carolina Broadband Infrastructure Office.

The grant would go to CenturyLink, which was asking the county for $100,000 to earn three points toward the prize.

Ted Hankins, Director of Government, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, gave the Zoom presentation for CenturyLink.

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Hankins’ map showed northern Dare County, where Spectrum already operates. No areas on the Dare County mainland have been proposed for service.

The title of the grant is Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT). It is a state-funded program with grants to private providers for “deploying broadband service to unserved areas of North Carolina.” The description goes on to state that the program “funds terrestrial broadband deployment to unserved areas of economically challenged counties.”

After Hankins’ speech, Board Chairman Robert L. Woodard said he had “too many unanswered questions. We cannot sign. We don’t have all the information. »

Commissioner Ervin Bateman called Hankins’ proposal “not fair.” . . I want to do things well.

Speaking directly to Hankins, Woodard said, “We are not prepared to sign this memorandum.”

CenturyLink’s memorandum described the subjects of a contract.

Part of the concern and confusion stems from the fact that the commissioners recalled that CenturyLink had already obtained a grant for the installation of fiber optics in the mainland communities of Dare. Hankins was unaware of this situation.

For some of its constituent counties, the Albemarle Commission has developed a model contract for use in negotiations with service providers. One of the issues is throttling upload and download speeds.

The commission’s executive director, Mike Ervin, reports that any contract with a provider should not contain caps on speeds. Hankins talked about the 25 download speeds and the 3 download speeds that exist.

Regarding the youth center project in Manteo, Dare commissioners have accepted a recommendation from its capital improvements planning committee to demolish the existing Masonic Lodge building, built in 1970, and construct a new facility. on the property.

Earlier today, the committee received a report from Oakley Collier Architects making the new installation recommendation after the firm assessed existing space, program needs, major renovation additions and new construction. .

The existing two-story building has 6,040 square feet. The hall on the first floor is divided by columns. An elevator would be needed to access the second floor, an exit point from the second floor would be needed, the bathrooms would need updating and 20 parking spaces created. The estimated cost of the renovation is $2,097,570.

The new building will be one story and 3,948 square feet. The cost will be $1,698,310.

The new building will accommodate 80 participants. The current program has 40 youth participants.

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