Commission allocates $1 million of ARP funding to broadband expansion

The Braxton County Commission allocated $1,000,000 of the ARP (American Rescue Plan) funds to expand broadband in Braxton County. The action was taken at a special meeting held on Wednesday January 12.

The Commission reviewed information provided by Terrell Ellis, Executive Director of the Braxton County Development Authority, on plans to expand broadband in the county and leverage additional grant funding. “The Commission felt that spending $1,000,000 to leverage $4,000,000 more was good use of our money,” explained President Lisa Godwin. “We know that highspeed internet service is not widely available in many parts of the county. We have seen how that lack of connectivity hampers distant learning for children and we know how it adversely effects future economic development. This funding will go a long way toward making highspeed broadband more widely available.”

Engineering plans identified 53 rural routes in the county that would receive service if the program was approved.

The Commission also approved using $123,500 in ARP funding for the Burnsville Public Utility Board to replace a much-needed river crossing in Burnsville.

The final item on the agenda of the special meeting was to advertise and hire a temporary part-time custodian for the Courthouse due to a permanent employee’s extended absence due to medical complications. The Commission’s next regular session will be held on Friday, January 21, beginning at 9:00 a.m.