By the end of next year, the city will have spent millions of dollars toward laying the groundwork and putting in place the tech to make Schenectady a Smart City, according to Mayor Gary McCarthy.
(TNS) — By the end of next year, Schenectady, N.Y., will have spent millions of dollars toward laying the groundwork and putting in place the technology to make Schenectady a Smart City, according to Mayor Gary McCarthy, who presented financial information about the program earlier this week.
The document projects that by the end of 2020 that outlay will eclipse the $5 million the city has so far earmarked for the initiative coupled with grants it has secured to cover the cost of everything from fiber optic cables to cameras and other required hardware.
Afterward, McCarthy explained that the small, anticipated deficit is nothing to worry because the city is “still negotiating some of the coasts and actual placement of devices.”
He told City Council members during Monday's budget review session that the full testing of all the technology will last about three years.
The linchpin of that effort is the ongoing installation of smart technology into about 22,000 street lights in several neighborhoods, including Hamilton Hill, Mont Pleasant, Central State Street and the downtown area. The technology includes acoustical and optical sensors that pinpoint gunfire.
Councilman Vince Riggi expressed concern about cybersecurity and the risk of hackers getting hold of residents’ personal information.
McCarthy and John Coluccio, the city’s Signals Superintendent, stressed that the city doesn’t collect a person’s credit card information and that they have several layers of security to guard against any security breaches.
“We’re certainly looking at where we can to make sure security is No. 1,” Coluccio said.
The mayor said the technology will enhance Wi-Fi and that officials hope to work with the city school district to help close the digital divide.
He also said his administration plans to solicit input from residents in hopes of both finding out what they need while educating them about the technology.
McCarthy recently came back from a trip to the United Arab Emirates and has been to Spain and Hawaii for Smart City conferences.
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