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Weakley Commission Approves County-Wide Fiber Project

Posted 12/2/20

The Weakley County Commission approved a proposal for a county-wide fiber project that requires a $10.5 million commitment from Weakley County to build out fiber broadband and other services in all …

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Weakley Commission Approves County-Wide Fiber Project

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The Weakley County Commission approved a proposal for a county-wide fiber project that requires a $10.5 million commitment from Weakley County to build out fiber broadband and other services in all rural areas of Weakley County in cooperation with West Kentucky and Tennessee (WK&T) Telecommunications headquartered in Mayfield, Kentucky.

The resolution approving the county’s participation in the project was approved by 17 of the 18 county commissioners with Dresden Commissioner Donnie Essary casting the lone no vote.

An extensive discussion on the proposal took place before the vote with the resolution being subjected to a number of amendments that were mostly technical in nature to insure the county’s investment in the project received oversight as the project progressed and that the county’s portion of the cost did not exceed the $10.5 million.

Under the proposal, WK&T’s investment would be no less than $10.5 million and could potentially be as much as $15.5 million should the cooperative not be able to secure grants which are expected to finance up to $5 million of the $26 million total cost to complete the fiber installation. Should WK&T be successful in securing more than $5 million in grant funds for the project, then Weakley County’s and WK&T’s financial obligation would be equally reduced in proportion to the additional grant funds.

Dresden and Martin have already installed fiber internet in their respective cities. Under the grant requirements, the county could not install the fiber in the cities of Gleason, Greenfield, and Sharon using grant funds because they each have Spectrum internet available in their cities. Spectrum provides internet service with download speeds in excess of 25 Mbps, which is the cutoff point in order to receive the current grants available for broadband installation.

The County Commission also heard from a group of approximately 15 rural residents residing in the Dukedom area and off Highway 124 between Greenfield and McKenzie who were complaining about chicken barns being built near their homes. Their complaints were based upon the premise that the unhealthy and obnoxious odors emulating from the barns that are being built in close proximity to their homes were creating a private and public nuisance that was destroying their property values and rendering the continued use of their homes impossible, The group was requesting that the county look at adopting zoning that would prohibit the construction of these barns close to homes, churches, and businesses.

One lady said that her home located on Highway 124 was valued at approximately $175,000 and is currently located about 1.3 miles from one set of chicken barns that has resulted in the foul smell preventing her from being able to enjoy being outside her home. She further noted that another 16 barns are currently planned to be built across the road from her home, which she feels will render her home basically worthless.

A Dukedom resident had similar complaints. He also had pictures showing where dead chickens were being burned that also produced an unhealthy nuisance.

The County Commission took no action on the group’s request.

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