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Improving Sharon’s internet and infrastructure

SHARON — Efficient access to technology for Town Hall offices and safe sidewalks in Sharon have been concerns for years, leading the Board of Selectmen to find a way forward on improvements at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

“If you live in a brick building, technology is challenging,” Brent Colley said, explaining that the Town Hall building was built well before the internet came along.

For the past few weeks, the selectmen have been assessing needs relative to the existing technology and how to improve performance to help town staff  do their work and to fulfill the demands of modern communication.

Realizing that outside advice would help, the selectmen agreed to create an RFP (Request for Proposals), seeking expert help with operations and security. A volunteer committee will then collect and assess the proposals and work with the selectmen on the next steps.

“We need to be looking at this every couple of years,” Colley said, recognizing that technology changes rapidly, creating a need for regular updates.

As for sidewalks, they were last addressed 11 years ago, Colley said. Several grant applications were submitted, but no funding has materialized. Complicating the matter is the involvement of water and sewer lines that would likely need to be updated and moved. At present the lines run in and out of the sidewalk lines.

“If you walk it, you’ll see where the sewer lines are,” Colley said, noting also that some trees will stand in the way because over time their roots have intertwined with the lines. Colley plans to confer with sewer and water representatives in order to find any possible coordination with the state Department of Transportation when they repave Main Street in the coming months.

The solar project at Sharon Center School, proposed by CT Green Bank, has shown some progress, Colley reported. The town attorney has reviewed the documents and made comments and suggestions. The school is owned by the town and therefore involves the selectmen.

The Board of Education has endorsed the concept, as the panels would provide power to the school.  As a next step, the project must be considered and approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

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