ARC funds to expand access to broadband in Vinton and Meigs counties


McARTHUR — The Vinton County Commissioners were awarded $1,180,000 on Oct. 14 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to expand access to broadband in Vinton and Meigs Counties in southeast Ohio by improving infrastructure.

William W. Wellman, President, Board of Commissioners, said in a news release, “Access to broadband in rural southeast Ohio has always been limited by our topography. Now, during COVID, it’s even more important to our workforce, our students, and our residents.”

Funding for the award was made via the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative to help communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. Additional support for the Vinton and Meigs Counties Rural Broadband Initiative is provided by local landowners with donations of land.

To date, ARC has invested over $238 million in 293 projects, touching 353 counties across Appalachia since 2015. More information about ARC’s POWER Initiative is available at www.arc.gov/power.

“I congratulate the Vinton County Commissioners for their POWER award and commend them on the leadership they have shown in their community,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “POWER grants are playing a critical role in supporting coal-impacted communities in the Appalachian Region as they recover from COVID-19 by building and expanding critical infrastructure and creating new economic opportunities through innovative and transformative approaches. Projects like this are getting Appalachia back to work.”

The Vinton County Commissioners, through their Development Department, apply for and administer a variety of grant funds to benefit the residents of the county. A collaborative partnership with Meigs County in 2018 led to Vinton County securing an ARC POWER planning grant to support the development of and application for this project.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

The Appalachian Regional Commission (www.arc.gov) is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.

Information provided by the Vinton County Development Department.