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ARPA Fuels Perpetual Warwick Network Savings


[CREDIT: Rob Borklowski] Warwick City Hall
WARWICK, RI — Spending Warwick’s $39.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds often invokes a dilemma over  long-term funding, but a $574,238 federally funded upgrade means ongoing Warwick network savings of 80 to 90 percent.

The original bid for city network services was $180,000, but the new bid for OSHEAN of North Kingston, RI, has already converted five city network sites to an Indefeasible Right to User network, meaning a permanent contractual agreement that cannot be undone. That conversion, wrote Phillip Carlucci, MIS director, in a memo explaining the bid, will save the city $56,000 annually, dropping the cost from $62,000 to $6,000. Once finished, the city will end its previous rental agreement on network services at those sites. That conversion is nearly complete, he said, and the city will realize the Warwick network savings through the balance of the year.

The additional funding will be used to convert the city’s remaining network sites, with the exception of Pilgrim Senior Center, where infrastructure needs are still being assessed. With the conversion of all but Pilgrim, the city will reduce its network costs from $73,092 annually to $14,400.

The conversion, which will also require switching the city’s internet provider to OSEAN and replace location network switches that the city currently rents. OSHEAN, a non-profit, offers the pricing only to hospitals, educational institutions and other non-profit organizations.

“That means by spending these federal grant dollars up-front, we will be able to save ongoing tax based dollar expenditures going forward,” Carlucci wrote.

During Monday’s City Council meeting, Carlucci said the entire project would cost the city $800,000. The new system will then be reduced from costing $200,000 a year to $30,000 – $40,0000. A portion of that savings would be invested into upkeep of the new system, he said, answering a question from Ann Sheridan during the Council’s Finance Committee meeting.

The bid was later approved during the full council as part of a package of several bids, on an 8-1 vote, with Councilman Ed Ladouceur voting against.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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