Commissioners agree to look at wireless Internet for downtown Pilot

By David Broyles

March 26, 2014

PILOT MOUNTAIN — Pilot Mountain commissioners at a regular meeting Monday night signaled they plan to have new Town Manager Amanda Reid look into the possibility of wireless internet in the downtown area as an aid to marketing the town.

The suggestion came from resident Michael McCarty during the public forum portion of the meeting following a request to have the votes of each commissioner on each issue collected in a report citizens could access. Mayor Earl Sheppard told McCarty the information he needed already was available at the downtown website.

“Could the town get three video cameras, put one on the water tank to look downtown, one at the west end facing east and one at the east end facing west and feed it back to the town website so citizens could see live what’s going on in the town of Pilot?” asked McCarty.

Commissioner Dwight Atkins said he felt it was an idea worth investigating to see the cost of wifi being installed downtown.

McCarty suggested that merchants, at their own expense, could install their own web cams to make them accessible to visitors so they could see what is offered in their shops.

“I think this could get more attention and draw more interest downtown,” said Atkins. “It would be great, especially for the cruise-ins.”

Sheppard told McCarty the board would have incoming Town Manager Amanda Reid, who will be sworn in April 14 at 9 a.m., to research his wifi proposal.

McCarty praised Pilot Mountain emergency medical technicians who recently helped him in connection with a fall at his home. He said the first responder to the 5:30 a.m. accident scene was a Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad member.

“My wife told me he must have been in uniform and sleeping in his car as fast as he arrived,” McCarty said. “Moments after arriving he was giving instruction to the next ones on exactly what they would need. The second responders were equally quick. Those guys are fast, knowledgeable and they have it down to a science. Enough can’t be said for them.”

The meeting opened with Sheppard asking for a moment of silence to remember former Pilot Mountain commissioner, the late Andrew Joseph French III.

Pilot Mountain Police Department Chief Darryl Bottoms gave a brief monthly report of the department’s activities.

He told the commissioners a rapid deployment training exercise is planned this Saturday at East Surry High School.

Other items he discussed included a Bike Safety Day on April 26 at the municipal building where bike helmets and bicycles would be given away through a grant his department had received thought the governor’s office. Bottoms said some of the activities will be held in the municipal parking lot.

Bottoms’ reports indicated the department investigated seven wrecks in February and answered 189 calls, 11 disturbances and 17 burglar alarms.

In other action, the commissioners approved the low bid for cemetery mowing from Ty’s Turf management of Ararat, with a bid of $335 per mowing billed monthly. Information from the commissioners indicates five firms submitted bids.

David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.