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Putnam COVID Funding Could Be Used For Water Or Broadband

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam COVID Funding Could Be Used For Water Or Broadband

A significant amount of people in Putnam County are without public water. Could the county use COVID funding to help remedy that?

Mayor Randy Porter said details are not final, but the federal government indicates the answer to be yes.

“Water districts, those are either city owned or they’re independently owned,” Porter said. “The water districts are owned by the members of those districts, so our goal would be is to try and work with those districts and cities to see if we could get these lines extended and use some money for that.”

Porter said about 700 homes are without water in the far eastern and western portions of the county. Porter said the Algood and county partnership that extended water to Green Mountain last year is a model for future projects.

“We do everything as a team,” Porter said. “Whether it be tourism or economic development or whatever working together, so I think it is a perfect example for the county and Algood city worked together to extend those water lines out to a group of folks that didn’t have access to water.”

Porter said while water line extensions are a possibility, so is another basic necessity. Porter said this same COVID funding can also help with broadband access.

“We got about 50 percent of our county that has fiber to the home that Twin Lakes telephone has put in and might be looking to do something with that in the future also,” Porter said. “I hear a lot of folks that don’t have good internet access for their children to do their homework and schooling and folks working remotely from home.”

Porter said the final guidelines for spending are likely to come out in late May. Porter said what that money would be spent on would be decided in the budgeting process.


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