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Free wireless internet coming to China Grove

CHINA GROVE — Several parks, China Grove’s community building and the town hall are getting free wireless Internet and it’s not going to cost taxpayers a dime.

During the town’s Monday board meeting, Mayor Don Bringle announced staff from Time Warner Cable would begin installing wi-fi this week.

The effort to add free wi-fi to parks and the town’s buildings began more than a year ago, according to Bringle. The effort was intended to provide Internet to children who may not have access at home.

Parks in China Grove scheduled to receive wireless internet include: Cannon, Hannah, Village Grove, Westside and Westhaven. The China Grove Community Building, Town Hall and Fire Department will also receive wi-fi.

“The conversation started at a community forum and we kind of kicked it around in before that,” said Mayor Pro Tem Lee Withers on Tuesday. I’ve got to commend our town manager because he’s been working very diligently in finding the right avenue. We’ve been able to get this accomplished without any cost to taxpayers.”

When asked about it Tuesday, Town Manager Ken Deal confirmed that the wi-fi would be provided free to China Grove, but Deal said he was unsure of the exact length of the agreement. Deal joked that he was a little hesitant at first to sign paperwork with Time Warner Cable when he first saw the wireless internet would be free.

He said some wi-fi at parks may already be working, but it would likely take more time before all wi-fi locations were up and running.

In other business from Monday’s town council meeting:

• The board discussed changing its meeting time for at least the third time in as many months.

The town council met Monday after changing the meeting time from Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. during their January meeting. Before any changes occurred recently, the board met on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

No changes to the meeting time were made Monday, but Bringle and Withers said the town’s March meeting would likely include more discussion on the meeting time.

“We have very low community turnout at our meetings and personally, myself as a councilman, I am trying to find some avenues to get some changes to the meetings and I think there’s merit to that,” Withers said.

Withers on Monday said civic obligations caused an issue with a Tuesday meeting time, according to draft minutes prepared of the meeting.

Bringle said either day worked, but he preferred Tuesday.

“For the last 20 years I’ve been off and on the council and it’s always been on Tuesday,” Bringle said. “Tuesday has always been a good time.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246

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