Fiscal court approves Internet agreement with Spectrum

Published 12:30 pm Thursday, March 2, 2023

Those with high hopes of seeing everyone in the county receive Internet service have something to cheer about after the latest Clark County Fiscal Court meeting last Thursday.

A contract with Spectrum to expand broadband Internet services to all areas of Clark County, including those without previous access to high-speed Internet, was agreed upon.

The motion to approve the contract was agreed upon unanimously.

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To summarize the broadband agreement, the fiscal court will pay $316,000 as a part of the contract.

Spectrum is likely to invest as much as $8-$9 million in the project, which will occur in multiple phases.

As technicians walk the neighborhood, a design, networking and installation plan will be determined over the first twelve months.

Afterward, the process of building and connecting homes will begin.

Current speeds available for installation are 300 megabytes, 500 megabytes and a one-gigabyte symmetrical product.

Crews will go underneath crawl spaces when necessary to determine that everything has been hooked up correctly.

The topic of adding jobs to the home incarceration program was also discussed.

Tony Kirk – a former officer of the Winchester Police Department and current director of home incarceration for Clark County – was present to explain that the program gives back to the public in several ways, such as continuous alcohol monitoring and providing resources on overdose awareness and rehabilitation.

In so doing, it has become one of the state’s most extensive home incarceration programs.

While beneficial, Kirk states that he sought the fiscal court’s assistance in offering future employment opportunities.

“There’s a lot of things that we need. Judge Yates has done a lot of that. He’s helped me with getting some more office space,” said Kirk. “Now, I’ve got to have people to fill them. With the court’s permission, I would like to present to you that I want to have the flexibility to at least hire one full-time guy, possibly a part-time guy, and I need a weekend person.”

Any individual working weekends would primarily be reviewing data points and could work remotely.

“If we could have a remote person possibly working twelve hours over the weekend, they don’t even have to live in Winchester,” Kirk added.

While not speaking against the proposal, Magistrate Robert Blanton requested further information.

“I’d like to have these numbers and this proposal in black and white so we can do it formally,” Blanton said. “That way, we’ve got the justification if you can include those numbers and such things. I know you’d like to have it done as soon as possible.”

Kirk stressed urgency due to replacing a part-time worker who had just left.

The court decided to take no action.