by Kate Shunney
Morgan County Commissioners decided last Tuesday to pursue federal funding under a Small Cities Block Grant to expand access to broadband internet for Morgan County residents across the county.
County officials voted 3-0 on January 19 to seek $715,766 through the West Virginia Development Office for a Broadband Improvement Project. The vote took place during a public hearing held Tuesday evening on the grant application.
The grant money would implement recommendations from a previous study that pinpointed actions the county could take to improve existing communications towers, attract broadband internet providers and amplify the services already in the county.
The county is looking to build new communications towers and poles in areas underserved by commercial broadband providers and purchase equipment to expand broadband signals from existing and new towers out into underserved areas. The grant would cover construction costs, equipment and legal fees.
Morgan County Commissioners will seek the grant with the help of Region 9 Development & Planning Council staff.