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Town of Lansing

The main discussion at the March Lansing Town Board meeting Wednesday was what the Town should do to keep the public informed and safe during the coronavirus crisis.  The agenda was based on an email Councilman Joe Wetmore and Councilwoman Bronwyn Losey sent to their fellow board members earlier in the day outlining several short and long term initiatives, including several additions to the Town Web site, and posters and flyers to publicize measures that should be taken to protect townspeople from the virus.

"We want to have something that's hits you right in the face is you understand how important this is help you to, to be informed the best that we can," Councilwoman Andra Benson said. "If it's done well so it's easy for people to understand where to go, and if they want to know more, I think it's a very good idea."

The Board simulcast its March meeting Wednesday on the Parks & Recreation Department Facebook page, but the quality of the video was quite poor, especially the sound.  Board members with loud, clear voices could be heard, but those with softer, airier voices like Wetmore, as well as people attending remotely like Losey and Director of Planning C.J. Randall were virtually unintelligible.  The Board voted to install cameras in the Town courtroom, and discussed simulcast options for future board meetings.

Wetmore and Losey raised the idea that the Town could do more to bring high speed Internet to all Lansing residents.  This was discussed as a long term project that would eventually pay for itself.

"It is clear that the market is not going to provide this important utility to our community, so we need to create a public utility to do it so our community is not left behind in the age of the Internet," they said. "Dryden has ~250 miles of roads and is going to install fiber-optic cable to every single home in the town for about $15 million. It won’t cost the taxpayer anything, as the upfront costs will be paid back from user fees in 10 years. (with only ~140 miles of roads in Lansing, it will cost us even less)."

A number of additions to the Town Web site were suggested.  Town Attorney Guy Krogh suggested a special Coronavirus information page, rather than making major changes to the existing Web site.  The idea was favorably received by board members.

"Sometimes it's easier to create a new page that you will go to that is to amend the existing pages," he said. "Sometimes having one page that somebody can bookmark as opposed to fishing around the site works better. The other thing is to be very careful. There was an FBI warning  issued yesterday about maps -- some of the maps that are at legitimate websites are affected, so you might want to add a little disclaimer off some of those slips because there are some issues."

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