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Fiscal Court OKs resolution seeking ARPA grant funds to expand rural broadband

County Engineer Brad Spalding answers questions regarding the resolution regarding expanding broadband internet to unserved and underserved parts of Nelson County.

By JIM BROOKS
Neson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021 — Nelson Fiscal Court approved a resolution Tuesday morning in support of a grant application to help pay for the joint city-county project to expand the internet to unserved and underserved areas.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear approved a grant program to assist internet providers with the cost of expanding broadband access in rural parts of the state. The City of Bardstown is applying for one of these grants that will help defray the cost of the joint city-county internet expansion project. The grant is a matching grant, and if approved, the county will use some of its American Rescue Plan Act funds for the county’s match.

From left, Magistrate Gary Coulter, Magistrate Keith Metcalf and Judge Executive Dean Watts.

The broadband project has targeted approximately 28 areas for expansion, including:

— Woodlawn Springs capacity upgrade;
— Maywood subdivision capacity upgrade;

And the expansion of broadband along the following county roads:
— Harrison Fork Road
— Whitesides Rd/Hibbs Lane
— Bennetts Lane
— Greenwell Ford Rd
— Lemon Ford Rd.
— Ashes Creek Rd
— Bellwood Rd
— Holt Ridge Rd.
— Stallard Ln
— Sweeney Ridge Rd
— Tom Greer Lane/Woodlawn Rd
— Tunnel Mill/Murphy Lane
— Hwy 1066/Hawk Ridge
— Fairfield Rd./ Everett Hall Rd
— Love Ridge
— Prather Ridge
— Roberts Rd/Wimpsett School House Rd
— Holy Cross Rd/Jim Clark Rd South
— Jim Clark Rd North
— Vittitow Ford Rd
— Ice Rd
— Nat Rogers Rd / Ice Rd
— Patton Rd
— North Stillwell Rd
— South Stillwell Rd

The proposed expansion will create an addition 462,439 feet of fiber optic cable to the city’s cable plant.

The court approved the resolution expressing support for the city’s grant application. District 4 Magistrate Jeff Lear abstained from the vote on the resolution.

EMS REPORT. Emergency Service Directory Joe Prewitt advised Nelson Fiscal Court that the county-owned EMS ambulance service had 694 calls for service. Of that number, 224 runs for non-transport calls, which means the individual was checked out by the ambulance crew but not transported to a medical facility.

The number of non-transport calls continues to run higher than in the past due to concern about being exposed to COVID-19 if transported to a hospital, Prewitt said.

In September, the EMS service averaged 23.2 calls for service each day.

In other business, Nelson Fiscal Court:

— heard that the county’s weather sirens will be undergoing maintenance in the coming weeks, and they will be tested. County residents may hear the sirens sound during testing and are advised to disregard the sirens unless there is threatening weather approaching the county.

— heard Judge Executive Dean Watts advise that representative of Barton 1792 and Lux Row distilleries will attend the next fiscal court meeting in regard to Industrial Revenue Bonds.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court next meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in the fiscal court meeting room on the second floor of the Old Court House on Court Square.

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