MAXTON — The town is one step closer to being safer and more high-tech.
The Maxton Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday to submit an application for a grant from the Natural Science Foundation to pay for reality software called Lucille, which will keep an eye out for criminals.
Town Manager Kate Bordeaux said Michael Smith, a representative of software creator Humanoid Playground, presented the software to the town in May 2017. She put Smith “on a mission” to find potential funding and grants for the software that will cost about $1.2 million, Bordeaux said.
Smith told town leaders that the Natural Science Foundation will chose 16 communities to receive grants ranging from $1 million to $6 million.
“The software is there. The hardware is there. We just need a way to fund everything,” Bordeaux said.
The grant proposal will be submitted on Feb. 5, and the town leaders will learn Aug. 1 whether or not it was approved.
The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science, according the agency’s website.
By using an array of cameras and sensors, Lucille will track an object behind obstructions by generating an augmented reality, graphical outline or place holder for where the object is.
“If we have different types of situations to occur, whether it’s vandalism or actual theft, it will provide live footage of what occurred,” Bordeaux said. “I think it will help police officers better identify who perform infractions.”
According to a report from the Humanoid Playground, the building of a smart community infrastructure for the town will be instrumental in raising the standard of living by making it easier for law enforcement to combat crime, by giving first responders and city workers vital real-time information as to when, where and how emergency events occur.
Although the focus of this grant proposal concerns setting up a surveillance infrastructure for Maxton, Lucille will be capable of powering other aspects of smart-town operations, including distributed renewable energy, smart-water infrastructures and smart-building applications.
In other business, the commissioners approved a motion to appoint a nine-member economic development Planning Board. Each of the six commissioners will submit a nominee. The other three will be decided by the Board of Commissioners as a whole. Mayor Emmett Morton said each member must be a Maxton resident, but the board can discuss exceptions, such as business owners in town who live outside off town.
Tomeka Sinclair can be reached by phone at 910-416-5865 or email at [email protected]