Lewis County Commission looking into grant to help expand broadband

WESTON. W. Va. (WDTV) - The southern part of Lewis County might be seeing new additions.

"We hope with the broadband, that'll bring other things," said Lewis County Commissioner Agnes Queen.

The Lewis County Commission meeting went into recess on Monday and held public hearing on the Small Cities Block Grant.

During the five minute hearing, members heard in depth on how this grant would help fund the building of broadband towers.

"The area is very underserved, especially when it comes to broadband, even cell phones, home phones. Some people don't even get home phone service there," she said. "We do know that they need something that's going to help them be able to be serviced."

The Small Cities Block Grant website says it provides federal funds for community and economic development projects throughout West Virginia. In order to be eligible for this grant, they have to fulfill one of three objectives which includes:

- Activities benefiting low- and moderate-income people.
- Activities that aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight.
- Activities designed to meet community development needs having a particular urgency because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community and where other financial resources are not available to meet such needs.

"The grant is based on income so, we have to do those based on income surveys in the area," said Queen.

Commission members are trying to beat the clock as the deadline is approaching at the end of October. As of right now, they say they won't know how many towers would be built if they receive this grant.

"It's going to take a little bit of time because number one the grant has to be approved. We have to jump through all the hoops, we have to get the right of ways and the towers have to be built, so it's going to take a little bit of time," she said.

But they say they're excited to sign up for this grant, to help all areas of the community.

"It's still in the talks right now," she said.