Clark County broadband project to get $3 million in federal funds

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

The second phase of a countywide broadband infrastructure project will receive $3 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.

The Board of County Commissioners of Clark County authorized the ARPA spending at its Wednesday meeting.

The money is part of the $26 million allocated to Clark County from the $1.9 trillion ARPA that President Joe Biden signed into law in March. A total of $350 billion was allocated to help local governments across the country reeling from pandemic impact.

Jason Kershner, of Charter Communications, attended the commission’s Wednesday meeting to discuss the second phase of the broadband project in the county. Charter Communications is managing the broadband project.

Kershner, said that his company will be submitting a grant application to the state’s Residential Broadband Grant Program before the Nov. 8 deadline, aiming to receive $2.1 million to close the “funding gap” left after the county provides the $3 million in ARPA funding.

Phase 2 of the broadband infrastructure project is expected to bring reliable internet access to underserved areas of Clark County, impacting 1,165 homes. A timeline for phase 2 has not yet been established, as the project’s second phase will be impacted by state funding.

The project’s first phase — which was funded through $3 million of CARES act money last year — connected 415 homes in Clark County.

The commissioners have authorized more than $6 million in ARPA spending. That money is being used for the reimbursement to the general fund for pandemic-related losses in revenue, the reimbursement of employee paid administrative leave resulting from anytime between March 3 and June 2, the funding of technology for the county’s dispatch center, expected to open in 2022.

Commissioners also approved ARPA spending for a stormwater improvement project for Enon-Xenia Road to help alleviate flooding in the area and for a fiber optic project to service county-owned buildings.

By the Numbers:

2: The next phase of the broadband infrastructure project

3: The amount in millions of American Rescue Plan Act funding the project will receive

1,165: The number of homes expected to be serviced in the project’s second phase

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