Aerial scenes of Central Ave business district downtown Middletown

Public Wi-Fi coming to downtown Middletown, then possibly to Smith Park

City Manager Doug Adkins said during Tuesday’s meeting the cost to create the downtown public Wi-Fi network through Cincinnati Bell will not exceed $39,737 for three years. Cincinnati Bell proposed putting nodes on several downtown buildings to provide the service, according to a staff report.

MORE: Middletown could install a ‘smart city’ network in its downtown. What would that mean?

There will be a one-time set-up cost of $33,725, and the monthly charges for 36 months will cost $1,002. The $39,737 contains the set-up and six months of service, according to the staff report.

The city has explored “Smart City” concepts for several months, Adkins said. After the 36-month contract with Cincinnati Bell has expired, the contract can be renewed or the city can switch providers, Adkins said.

Adkins hopes the Wi-Fi is available by mid to late summer.

The city also is considering adding Wi-Fi in Smith Park, which hosts the Ohio Challenge hot air balloon event, youth soccer tournaments and concerts. The city would have the ability to turn the network off, meaning it would only be available when the park is hosting large events, the city manager said.

Council also approved spending $30,000 to improve its summer recreation programming that was cut during the 2008 Great Recession.

Adkins said the city will provide “modest” youth recreation programs this summer. The city will partner with local agencies — the Middletown Area YMCA and Community Building Institute. Several programs will be offered to children of various ages.

Council also approved 2 percent raises to the collective bargaining agreement between the city and the Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Labor Council through Dec. 31, 2019.

In 2016, the city entered into an agreement with the dispatchers unit. The parties also agreed on an increase in uniform allowance to $900, $100 more than the previous two years.

Adkins said the 2 percent raise was appropriate because it was “good for one group, good for everybody.”

Presentations also were made by representatives of Broad Street Bash 2019 and Movies in the Park.

Tim Lewis, one of the organizers of the Bash, said this is the 13th year for the downtown concert series at Governor’s Square. All free shows are from 5:30-9:30 p.m.

The schedule: May 22, Miss Jacque Band with Hot Cargo; June 5, Fred Gillespie and Friends with David Hart Band; June 19, The Magnums with X-Toads; July 3, Broad Street Blast Fireworks at Smith Park with David Victor formerly of Boston; July 17, The Menus; July 31, Terrapin Moon with 3 Peace; Aug. 14, Tribute to Woodstock’s 50th anniversary; Oct. 12, Monster Bash.

Jeri Lewis, organizer of the movies, said the free, family events will be held from June 7 through Sept. 8 downtown and city parks.

The schedule: June 7, Christopher Robin, downtown; June 21, Solo, Goldman Park; July 12, Show Dogs, Douglas Park; July 26, Incredibles 2, Goldman Park; Aug. 2, Mary Poppins Returns, downtown; Aug. 16, Wonder, Goldman Park; Sept. 6, Dumbo, downtown.

Family activity starts at 7 p.m., followed by snacks at 8:30 p.m. and the movie at 9 p.m. For more information: www.middletownfamilymovienights.com.

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