Benson celebrated its recent installation of downtown WiFi on Tuesday afternoon with a “cord cutting” ceremony held at the Benson Museum of Local History.
The Museum’s conference room was filled with town staff, area business owners, and residents as Town Manager Matt Zapp welcomed the crowd.
“So much has changed in Benson — we have so many folks helping us do amazing things. Like today, we’re here to celebrate our downtown WiFi,” he said, referring to numerous people in the room including NC House Rep. Larry Strickland, Don Belk with the NC Department of Commerce, George Collier with the NC Broadband Infrastructure Office, and Andy Goethals with Create Connections, among many others.
Rep. Strickland helped Benson secure the $20,000 Downtown Revitalization grant to make the project possible. He also addressed the room.
“This is all about building relationships — serving my district — and I am so happy I was able to get this grant and do whatever I can for Benson and the entirety of Johnston County,” he said.
Mr. Collier also spoke, praising Benson’s downtown project as a true “public/private partnership.” As did Benson Chamber President Loretta Byrd, calling the new hotspot “great for business and something to help Benson grow.”
Likewise, Mayor Jerry Medlin said Benson was fortunate to have Rep. Strickland and a town administration that was always thinking forward.
“I want to thank all the people that made this happen,” he said. “This is a great example of what small towns can do!”
Stretching from US 301 at Main Street to the Singing Grove, Benson’s downtown WiFi acts as another source of convenience for the town’s residents, visitors and shoppers. In a similar fashion to a coffee shop or a restaurant, logging on to Benson’s community hotspot is simple.
To conclude the ceremony, Rep. Strickland cut an outstretched ethernet cable with some garden shears to symbolize the completion of Benson’s latest project.