New Phila providing free wireless internet access downtown

New Phila providing free wireless internet access downtown

Image Credit: File

New Philadelphia Mayor Joel B. Day announced free access to wireless internet is now available in the downtown business district. The announcement came during the July 25 meeting of city council.

Day said users will be able to connect by choosing Downtown Wireless from the options shown on their smartphones when in the downtown area. Bandwidth will be limited to five megabit, and social media and video streaming will not be available in order to conserve bandwidth.

“There will also be a time limit on how long you can stay connected to the network,” Day said. “Websites and resources with adult material and those that pose a security threat are blocked.”

A coverage map provided by Pioneer 360 is available in the mayor’s report on the city Facebook page. Day said the service is being provided by Verizon using the fiber optic network they installed two years ago.

“The service has been operational for about two months while we worked out the bugs,” Day said. “But now it is time to make the public announcement. We hope everybody enjoys it and that it spurs economic development downtown.”

Also in his report, Day said the city will receive a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration in the amount of $135,000 to relocate the taxiway providing access to the runways at Harry Clever Field. He said ODOT aviation and the city are each contributing $7,500 toward the project, which will include LED edge lighting and directional signs.

Reports to council

Safety Director Greg Popham invited the public to attend an Engine Push In ceremony at the fire department on Saturday, July 30 at 4 p.m. “It's a tradition that started back in the 1800s when fire wagons were pulled by the horse,” Popham said. “The horses couldn't back up to get the wagon in, so they disconnected it and people pushed the fire wagon into the firehouse.”

Popham said those attending will be invited to help push the city’s newest fire truck into the station before it officially goes into service.

Auditor Beth Gundy reported having received the second half of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, as well as the first of 18 monthly installments from the national opioid settlement in the amount of $6,696.07.

Jim Seldenright, chair of the airport commission, expanded on the mayor’s announcement of funds for construction at Harry Clever Field. The project is scheduled to begin Aug. 15 and wrap up Sept. 13. During that time, the airport runways will be closed from Mondays at 7 a.m. through Thursdays at 5 p.m. but open on weekends, although the lighting system will not be in operation.

Mitch Pace, chair of the park board, said work is beginning on the track at the stadium, and pickleball will start at the new courts in Tuscora Park in August.

Dean Holland, health board chair, said COVID cases continue to be on the rise in New Philadelphia due to the Omicron variant BA.2. He said five COVID deaths occurred within the week. Holland said vaccines and testing kits are still available at the city health department for everyone 6 months and older.

Appointments for vaccine injections can be made by calling the health department at 330-364-4491 ext. 1208. Holland also reported an increase in cases of Lyme disease in the community and urged residents to check themselves and their pets for ticks after being outdoors.

Legislation

Council passed an ordinance amending and adjusting appropriations to include a line item for the health department in the amount of $14,120 in grant funding for mosquito spraying.

The next meeting will be Monday, Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the John Knisely Municipal Building, 150 E. High Ave.