Governor's Office for Local Development

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, July 19, 2006  
Contact Information:  Dan Bayens
Public Information Officer

Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) have recommended for funding a $150,000 Delta Regional Authority (DRA) grant for Webster County.  The funding will be used to build the infrastructure for a county-wide broadband wireless Internet service for area residents.


“Affordable broadband access will allow businesses in Webster County to market their products and services far beyond their current geographic boundaries,” said Governor Fletcher.  “This provision will also allow for an increased competitive advantage in a rapidly changing economic climate.”


Presently, only small pockets of Webster County communities, including Clay, Dixon, Sebree, Slaughters and Providence, have access to broadband service.  Internet availability will be expanded through wireless delivery by constructing two new towers and utilizing three existing structures. 


“By bringing in the latest in technology and networking, we are improving the quality of life for this community and creating opportunities for growth,” said Webster County Judge-Executive Jim Townsend.  “Businesses looking for a place to locate can now add Webster County to their list.”


The project also includes installation of both infrastructure and distribution equipment for each of the five towers, as well as six months of user maintenance fees.


The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state economic development program restricted to a 21-county area of western Kentucky.  Delta Regional Authority funds are used to help economically-distressed communities leverage other federal, state and local dollars for community development projects that focus on infrastructure development, business development/entrepreneurship and job training services.


The application process for the DRA program is facilitated by the three DRA Area Development Districts – Green River, Pennyrile and Purchase.  Pre-applications are reviewed by GOLD and priority projects are recommended by the Governor.  Full applications are reviewed and considered by DRA for final grant approval.