Sunday, January 27, 2008

Turn Out The Solar-Powered Lights...

...the party's over:

St. Louis Park is abandoning $1 million worth of radios, poles and solar panels erected to create the nation's first citywide wireless Internet service powered by the sun.

It's another step in the city's falling out with the project's Maryland contractor Arinc -- a breakup that council and staff members said has "sickened" them.

"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.

At a meeting Tuesday night, the City Council directed staff to negotiate with Arinc for the removal of the infrastructure it has installed.

Clint Pires, the city's chief information officer, said much of what Arinc built is in "the wrong locations" with "the wrong materials," and salvaging the solar project could cost another $3 million, on top of more than $800,000 the city already has spent.

The council is "sickened" by this news? What about us taxpayers of St. Louis Park who just watched our government officials piss away close to a million dollars on a project that was clearly going to be a TOTAL FREAKIN' BOONDOGGLE from the get go? And now to "salvage" this disaster, we're going to pony up another THREE MILL? We're the ones who are truly sickened by this crap.

Personally, I think the city should keep the poles and panels that dot our city landscape as a reminder of the futility of government getting involved in areas far outside their legitimate scope and trying to provide service that isn't needed. Let them stand as a reminder for the next time some "enlightened" civic leader proposes the next half-baked scheme to improve our quality of life. Especially if it sounds "cool":

Jacobs said he hopes to ask residents what they think: Should the city continue pursuing Wi-Fi after a yearlong setback?

"First, we have to find out if this technology is doable," Jacobs said. "It sounded cool for a while. We'd be using cutting-edge technology in a cutting-edge suburb. But is it really possible? This is Minnesota, for heaven's sake."

Thanks Mayor. God forbid you should have asked any of those questions before pushing this clusterfarg down our throats.