West Virginia Counties Pursue Joint HUD Broadband Grant

Marion County commissioners have joined four other counties for a competitive federal planning grant.

by Carter Walker, Times West Virginian / October 20, 2017

(TNS) -- FAIRMONT — The Marion County Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to join five other counties in applying for a broadband planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The grant, if approved, would allocate $125,000 for Region VI, which includes Marion, Monongalia, Harrison, Preston, Taylor and Doddridge counties, to do an assessment of what it would take to implement broadband internet infrastructure in the region.

“That plan need updated to identify the areas that need broadband,” Rosemary Raschella, planning coordinator for the Region VI Planning and Development Council, said. “Once that’s completed, that gives each county the tools to decide to do a project on their own.”

The program is for a competitive grant, meaning the Department of Housing and Urban Development may give the funds to another area for a different project.

“Sometimes we have to apply two, three, four years,” Raschella said.

If the application is successful and the funds are granted, Raschella said it would give municipalities and counties the plans for a broadband infrastructure project if they choose to apply for a construction grant in the future.

©2017 the Times West Virginian (Fairmont, W. Va.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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