WEDOWEE - At Thursdays workshop meeting of Randolph County Commission, commissioners heard some good news about broadband internet expanding in the county.

Bryant Whaley of Randolph County Economic Development Authority introduced David Ficken with Point Broadband. He said, "We have received approval from the FCC to move forward with installation of fiber-based cable that will provide broadband internet to parts of the county not covered by internet at the present time."

Ficken went on to say this is a $100 million dollar project with some $50 million provided by the federal government. He explained, "We have partnered with Tallapoosa River Electric and will use their poles to string some 5,000 miles of fiber optic cable, not copper, with over 60,000 passings."

He said work could begin in as little as 24 month, maybe sooner. "It's on the way," Ficken said.

Mayor's request

Roanoke Mayor Jill Patterson Hicks addressed the commission at the close of their meeting on Monday concerning surplus property. Hicks said she knows the commission declared the CoreLinc building surplus and expressed her concern on the sale of the property.

"The company employs some 130 people that have no place else to go and work," Hicks said. "We have all types working there, and they need jobs. These are not just Roanoke residents, but residents of the county too."

She said she hopes the sale of the property would allow the business to stay open. "I just ask you to think about it," she said.

Engineer's report

County engineer Burrel Jones told the commission that repaving work on County Road 87 will resume by Gary Ingram Paving as soon as soil tests are completed.

Jones said a pipe would be replaced on County Road 65 and will take four to six working days to complete. Residents are encouraged to use the detour routes as some roads are closed in the area.

Sheriff's report

Sheriff David Cofield told the commission that as of Monday there were 68 inmates, 56 male and 12 female in the county jail.

He said COVID had struck employees hard at the county jail. "We have had several out and other staff are having to fill in the gaps," said the sheriff.

In a related matter, the Randolph County 911 Center has been affected by COVID. They have adjusted their dispatch procedures due to the short staff.

Other business

  • Approved new appointments to Randolph County Solid Waste Authority, including Barry Smith, Todd Freeman (to replace Michael Meeks), Joyce Sledge and Mark Jordan. With Commissioner Larry Roberts absent, the commission tabled his appointment.
  • Approved the purchase of a pickup truck for the sheriff's department to replace a Tahoe that has been wrecked.
  • Approved a surplus equipment list submitted by the assistant engineer. The equipment will be placed on Govdeals.com.
  • Approved the installation of a new security system for the courthouse and commission office at a price not to exceed $11,000.

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