City council gives final approval to mayor’s capital fund plan

Last night, the Northampton City Council gave final approval to the mayor’s capital plan for FY20 – FY25. The plan includes funding for a study of a municipal network for Northampton in FY20 and FY21.

City Council Chairman Ryan O’Donnell noted before the vote that approving the plan does not obligate the city council to spend the money. The mayor will advance a funding proposal for the study, presumably in FY20 which starts July 1. The City Council will have to approve that funding for the study to commence.

However, this is still a win, because the mayor is onboard with the need for a study, the City Council agrees that it should be part of the plan and presumably will not stop the study when the mayor requests the money for the study.

Supporters will still need to be vigilant and make sure the City Council is aware of continued support for the network before the study comes up for a vote. The Northampton High-speed Community Network Coalition will continue outreach to both the community and decision makers to build on our case for this project.

Three members of the public spoke out out for the proposal at the start of the meeting, including Mark Hamill and Ryan Cheevers-Brown. Ryan provided some prices that he discovered for business pricing for Comcast’s services. To say the least, these prices are eye opening and will be placed in a future post.

You can see the presenters speak to the City Council below:

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