Commissioners review the final draft with Morley Corporation to expand broadband in Lawrence County

BEDFORD – The Lawrence County Commissioners heard from Jeremy Elrod of Morley Corporation to expand broadband in Lawrence County.

The commissioners have been consulting with Morley Corporation on possible routes to expand broadband services throughout the county. The company specializes in providing architecture, surveying, and engineering services. It also works in the broadband industry. 

Morley Corporation has been collecting data and working on overlay maps that include future plans with REMC, AT&T, and Smithville to provide broadband to rural areas of Lawrence County.

Now a Request for Proposal will be released on Thursday to receive applicant responses to deploy a network of high-speed broadband internet. Those responses need to meet ARPA fund eligibility and are due by September 2.

“We want to get the most bang for our buck,” added Morley. “We want the best proposals.”

Increasing broadband access has been a key topic of conversation over the last several months.

Any American Rescue Plan Act funds the county decides to allocate toward broadband projects must be spent by Dec. 31, 2024. However, the project would have an extended deadline of Dec. 31, 2026.

In other business:

The commissioners amended an invoice for a payment of $14,800 to pay for repairs to the Farm Bureau or expo hall at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds. The invoice is now for $7,400 because Farm Bureau paid half the bill.

Lester Wagler & Sons Construction LLC removed and replaced the rotten skirt boards around the building and another skirt board that was adjoined to the building. The boards had rotten over time. They also installed angle brackets beside the post and anchored them into the concrete floor.

Monte Goen requested to vacate two alleys in Leesville. Goen’s property borders both sides of the alleys. The request will be set for a public hearing at the next commissioners’ meeting on August 16th.