The final curtain has fallen on the ambitious St. Louis Park, Minn., Wi-Fi network: The city claims the contractor did a terrible job in planning and deploying the network, especially since the vendor received the contract through a low bid based on using solar-powered nodes. The city found the nodes were placed poorly for charging, and that the company, Arinc, used "the wrong locations" and "the wrong materials," according to the CIO.
It's a sad situation, the Star Tribune says, "that council and staff members said has 'sickened' them." The city owns the network, and had hired Arinc, which in turn contracted some local operations. Arinc is a large firm which has previously built Wi-Fi networks, but not using solar power. The city has spent to $800,000 on the network , but the story says the city might sue Arinc to recover this. It would cost $3m to build the rest of the network out, the city says, a far cry from the $1.7m that Arinc bid.
Some small part of the additional cost had to do with a redesign of the tall poles on which solar panels were mounted after residents complained about the garish appearance. They're breathing a sigh of relief now that they know their reportedly pretty town won't be festooned with such stakes.
Regarding the poles, the mayor had some choice language on the subject: " 'We're going to tell Arinc, "Come get your poles, take them out of the ground, stick them someplace where the solar panels won't work at all," ' Mayor Jeff Jacobs said."