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Putnam Commission Approves $12 Million For Fiberoptic Project

Three minutes of the Putnam County Commission’s meeting of Tuesday, February 28, was devoted to the Putnam County Fiberoptic Broadband Project.

The project has been on hold since December since all bids for labor were far in excess of estimates. Fiberoptic Director Ronnie Lovejoy informed the Commission that $5 million could be saved by going with General Services Administration Federal Pricing. Lovejoy said that Mountain State Fiber has agreed to federal pricing of $11.1 million for the project and $1.25 million for the Hurricane Creek Option. The December low bid was in excess of $17 million.

The Commission voted to restart the fiberoptic project by approving the GSA pricing agreement of $12.35 million.

One hour and 33 minutes of the meeting were devoted to the conduct of regular business and hearing updates and budget requests from Libraries, the Health Department, Putnam County Fair, Parks & Recreation, Putnam County Day Report, WVU Extension Service, the Development Authority, and Solid Waste Authority.

Megan Tarbett requested that Library funding be increased from $290,000 to $344,000 to meet the cost of increased usage by the public. Crystal Moberly informed the Commission that the Health Department needed $55,000 additional funding for an SUV to meet environmental program compliance. Parks Director Justin Williams informed the Commission that he expects enough revenue to meet current expenses which include payments to reduce loan debt. Krista Snodgrass asked for funding for barn repair and bleacher replacement at the Putnam County Fairgrounds. Day Report Director Jamey Hunt requested an increase of $20,000 over last year. Tim Sayre of the WVU Extension Service asked for $6,000 in additional funding to provide for Agricultural Program needs. Putnam County Development Authority Director Morganne Tenney asked the Commission to fund a land purchase which could help make the Authority less dependent upon future Commission funding. Charity Fellure of the Solid Waste Authority presented her department’s plans for the upcoming year.

In other business, the Commission appointed Don Pauley to the Putnam County Planning Commission.

The next scheduled Commission meeting is March 14.

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