By Ron Allen
The agenda for the February 9 Putnam County Commission meeting included two items linked to $2.4 million in Covid funding which the commission allocated for two projects at its January 28 meeting.
At the January 28 meeting, the commission voted to devote $1.2 million toward the construction of a new Sheriff’s facility and remodel of the existing facility. At its February 9th meeting, the commission voted to begin negotiations with Silling Architects of Charleston for the possible development of design plans and methods by which plans would be implemented. The commission also interviewed Chapman Technical Group of St. Albans and Williamson Shriver Architects of Charleston regarding the new facility and remodel. If negotiations with Silling should fail to produce a satisfactory result, the commission will next begin negotiations with Chapman Technical.
In another action related to Covid funds allocated on January 28, the commission established the Putnam County Infrastructure Fund. The commission voted to place $1.2 million of Covid funds in the new fund to finance the design and construction of a fiber optic network that will make 5G internet service available throughout the county.
Fiber optic networks utilize underground conduits that supply service to customers in a manner similar to public water and natural gas service. Fiber optics allow internet speeds and broadband availability that is thousands of times greater than that of current systems.
The commission has advertised for consulting firms to submit Request For Proposals (RFPs) for professional services necessary for the design, installation, construction and equipping a fiberoptic broadband system in the county. Submissions are due on March 5, 2021.
In other business, the commission acted on the recommendation of the Dilapidated & Abandoned Enforcement Agency (DAEA) to advise the owner of 85 Houston Street in Nitro of his or her rights to request a hearing concerning the need to clean up the property.
The commission also approved a request from the Town of Buffalo for a 2019 fiscal year Recreation Enhancement Grant reimbursement. The reimbursement will be charged to this year’s budget.
The commission next meets at 5:30 p.m. on February 25.