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CARES will provide Southern with WiFi

SALINEVILLE — Southern Local students in the Salineville area may soon have another option for finding important WiFi should they need it for remote learning during the pandemic.

Salineville village council and the Southern Local school board both approved a contract agreement during separate meetings.

The village has agreed to provide a subgrant to the school of $8,500 in CARES Act money left from the $85,660 the village received. Mayor Linda Adams said the $8,500 is the money that is left and needs to all be spent or encumbered this month.

The school district intends to use the money for coronavirus-related updates to the Hutson Building, a 4,000-square-foot office building on East Main Street. Tax records show the building is currently owned by Utica East Ohio Midstream LLC.

School Treasurer Greg Sabbato said Utica East Ohio Midstream LLC has plans to donate that building to the school district and part of the plans for it include placing a WiFi hotspot at the building, which will allow those families without service at their homes, including those who can drive to the location, a place to utilize the internet. One of the difficulties of remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic is ensuring students have access to the internet for lessons and homework.

Although the village is granting the money, Adams said the school still must submit their plans for approval and the money will be reimbursed. When the village received the CARES Act money it came with the stipulation that it must be spent on coronavirus-related expenses which were not in the original budget but became a need because of the pandemic.

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