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Broadband project enters next phase

By EASON FRANKLIN
The Lowndes Signal

Lowndes County is preparing to enter the next phase of the broadband construction project, said Commissioner Charlie King, Jr.

The cooperative districts of Hayneville, Fort Deposit and the Lowndes County Commission are expected to reach out to other counties involved in the broadband project within the next couple of weeks.

“The cooperative district will reach out to the other eight counties by way of mayors, council members and commissioners to have a meeting in the field of how they would like to organize in their county,” King said.

However, through the collective efforts, King noted Lowndes County will be the governing body of all the entities involved with the broadband project.

“Our entity will be one of decision-making capacity,” said King. “We’ll be in the driver’s seat.”

The Lowndes County Commission is also awaiting confirmation from its bond attorney regarding the project’s funding, said King.

“We were hoping we would already have it,” King said. “We will be pushing for it.”

Commissioners are expected to discuss the bond issue, pending the attorney’s confirmation, added King.

Local government entities will be among the first to receive high-speed access prior to that of individual households, according to Fort Deposit town councilperson Elbert Means.

Means said the town of Fort Deposit is looking to recruit new businesses as a result of voting to become a cooperative district.

“We want to go high-tech,” Means said. “We are looking to bring industry in and it is conducive of bringing in broadband.”

One member from each governing body–Hayneville, Fort Deposit and the Lowndes County Commission–will be selected to serve on a Board of Directors to oversee the project.

“This is one of the steps in getting the broadband run through our county and getting the infrastructure put down,” said Hayneville Mayor Helenor Bell. “It means we’re working together as a community and should make us stronger.”

Mayor Pro-tem David Daniel of Hayneville and King will be two of the members serving on the board, however the town of Fort Deposit has not made a decision as to whom will serve on its behalf, noted Means.