Industrial park lands fiber optics grant

By Staff
Jason Cannon, FCT Publisher
It's still basically a plot of land and a set of plans but Franklin County's newest industrial park got a huge shot in the arm yesterday.
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced Tuesday that the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) will release $168,000 to the Franklin County Commission to extend its telecommunications infrastructure.
"For small businesses to be competitive, it is critical that they have the most up-to-date technological infrastructure available," said Senator Shelby.
"The installation of fiber optic telecommunications lines will allow the industrial park as well as a number of businesses in the area to more efficiently manage their databases. In addition, the new services will allow the medical facilities served to provide increased telemedic services."
Telemedic services are planned to be offered at the new Franklin County Jail site, which is a cost saving measure designed to cut down on inmate transportation costs and can be provided by Russellville doctors from their offices.
"This type of improvement can go a long way in modernizing the way companies do their business," Shelby added.
The funding will allow the Franklin County Commission to install seven miles of fiber optic telecommunications lines to the Franklin County Industrial Park, where it will serve two sections of the park and several small businesses located in the area nearby.
The installation will serve approximately 20 to 25 businesses and 765 employees.
In addition to ARC funds, local sources will provide $42,000 in matching funds, bringing the total project funding to $210,000.