Executive Director of Region I Planning and Development Council Jason Roberts virtually met with the Mercer County Commission Wednesday morning to discuss the county’s HUD Community Development Block Grant application, which will create funding for broadband development within the county.
Region I utilizes federal, state, and local funding to assist with projects concerning infrastructure development, including expansion and replacement of water and sewer facilities, employment, industry, housing, health, recreation, and environmental protection.
In the meeting, Roberts stated that Region I is looking to lay approximately 11 miles of broadband fiber on existing power poles in the Beeson community, which sits about 8.5 miles northwest of Princeton.
Mercer County needs to request $1.2 million in grant funding to complete the project; however, Roberts says this amount could fluctuate as they nail down the specifics of the engineering project.
“This project will be 100 percent grant funding,” Roberts said. “There’s no downside for the county to apply. Better internet service is important for everyone in southern West Virginia, for education and for economic development.”
Before adjourning Wednesday’s meeting, Gene Buckner, President of the Mercer County Commission, thanked Roberts and Region I for their work on this project.
The HUD Community Development Block Grant application deadline is set for January 2021.