The Rusk County Commissioners held their final workshop Tuesday to hear a presentation from David Cleveland, Executive Director of East Texas Council of Governments concerning the final stages of bringing Broadband Internet to portions of Rusk County.
“We’re on the backend of the process,” said Cleveland.
He then thanked all the Commissioners for their participation in making potential project a reality. Joining the Commissioners in the workshop were Judge Joel Hale, other representatives and guests including some via RingCentral Video.
Cleveland showed a map that showed the locations of potentially six Broadband projects and explained each project to make sure he didn’t miss anything or if he had missed any areas.
“When the projects are done there will still be needs,” Cleveland said.
Project one will be the Northwest Corridor starting on West FM 1798 traveling north through New London and terminating on CR 152. The purpose of this route is to provide high speed internet to unserved and underserved businesses in the northwest quadrant of Rusk County and will be approximately 16.6 miles in length.
Project two will be Overton and New London Extension and will have two legs beginning at Highway 323 and traveling down Highway 135 and FM 850 with the final leg connecting to Highway 135 and FM 850 along FM 2012. The purpose is to provide fiber optic high speed internet to unserved and underserved and new businesses within the new industrial park expansion and will be approximately 18 miles in length.
Project 3 will be the new industrial park expansion. The purpose is to provide fiber optic high speed internet to unserved and underserved and new businesses with the new industrial park and will be approximately 12.9 miles in length.
Project 4 will be the Tatum development and will have three legs traveling from east Tatum at the Rusk County line on Highway 149, FM 1797 and East Highway 43. The purpose of this project is to provide fiber optic high speed internet to unserved and underserved businesses within the City of Tatum and will be 7.1 miles in length.
Project 5 will be Chalk Hill Loop and will have two legs and travel along FM 1716 and East FM 2011 South of Lake Cherokee. The purpose is to provide high speed internet services to unserved and underserved residences in a high telecommuting area and will be 14.5 miles in length.
A sixth project is being considered that is referred to as the Alternate or additional route near Reklaw and surrounding areas. It would have two routes traveling along FM 839 and West Highway 84 in and outside the City of Reklaw. The purpose is to provide fiber optic high speed internet to unserved and underserved businesses within the City of Reklaw and surrounding areas and will be 14,5 miles in length.
When asked if anyone had any questions Judge Joel Hale responded, “I think we have a thumbs up.”
There will be just a few changes before Cleveland will attend a future Commissioners Court meeting for final approval possibly the last of August or first of September. Once the Commissioners approve it will then go out for grant funding.