The Board of Supervisors at its May 23 meeting approved a three-party agreement that intends to pave the way toward expanding broadband into the rural areas of Prince George County.
By a unanimous vote, the BOS approved a partnership with Prince George Electric Cooperative Enterprises (PGECE) and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA). The end result will be expanded broadband services to 500 Prince George homes & businesses.
The agreement, now approved by the BOS and PGECE, will go to the IDA for its ratification in June. If approved, PGECE officials say the construction to provide broadband to new areas will begin within 60 days.
Terms of the agreement:
-The BOS will contribute a $1 million grant to the IDA, who in turn will give it to PGECE for broadband installation.
-PGECE has four years to reach 500 new subscribers who are located within 1,000 feet of a VDOT road. Funds will be returned to the IDA should PGECE not reach its goal within four years.
-PGECE will charge government buildings who receive the service the residential rate.
Earlier this year, Prince George Electric Cooperative conducted a pilot program that included 50 subscribers in and around West Quaker Road. The success of that venture has convinced the company to establish a limited liability company to oversee a larger expansion into areas served by the electric cooperative.
The residential rate for service is $82. A commercial rate has not yet been established.
Other matters to come before the BOS at its meeting:
• Received a report on Clean Community Day held April 15.
• Unanimously approved applications for two grants for School Resource Officers, including a new one at Walton Elementary School.
• Awarded a contract to Ellis Construction for $205,000 to expand parking at the Parks & Recreation Community Center.
• Held a public hearing and unanimously voted to authorize Staff to coordinate an auction with a minimum price of $4,500 for the Lagoon Property in River’s Edge.
• Held a public hearing and unanimously approved a Special Exception for a Taxidermy Shop at 5555 Courthouse Road.
• Held a public hearing and unanimously approved a Special Exception for an Assembly Building on 5503 Ruffin Road.