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Tom Fisher says internet, emergency response, needed at community centers

Including both will help with grants applications, Fisher says; he says County Court is key to conversion of schools to community centers
By Tom Fisher
fishfry@alltel.net
I'm glad to see that people are responding to the idea of community centers. I, also, think the county grade centers will make great community centers.

At the present time these centers can be anything that people want them to be. Each center should have some basic services like emergency response, broadband access and some other county government activities. These centers need to meet the needs of each community, therefore will be unique in the other services they provide.

Adding emergency response elements raises grant prospects

One of the reasons to have emergency response elements have ownership is that their grant process pays a larger portion (50% to 90%) and is government funded). While social grant process is different and the match is greater and less government funded.There seems to be some question about support for this type of a project. I got involved with this project by being referred to a Connect Kentucky meeting that was being given to the County Court. Connect Kentucky is a Governor's Project to have broadband data installed in the rural areas of the state.

Next ConnectAdairCounty meeting is April 4, 2006

The County Court is part of the overall committee. The next meeting is April 4, 9:30 AM CT at LWC dining room. This is an open meeting. If you want to know more about Connect Kentucky go to www.ConnectKentucky.org. On the right hand side of their home page is a menu item called "Find My County," select it, then select "Adair." This will take you to the information on Adair County. (This part of a larger program from the federal government.)

The main purpose of Connect Kentucky is economic development using the Internet. Part of the reason for community centers is provide an Internet hot spot where local people (businesses, farmer marketing the crops, etc) can get high speed Internet service. They would pay a fee for this connectivity.

Emergency response teams need high speed internet

Fire Department or the emergency response also needs high speed Internet service. The only time they would use it is when they have a need. So the service would set there not being used except for emergencies. If the Internet service were not used on a regular bases it would fail and no one would know.

The service needs to be in continually in use for it to be serviceable for emergencies. There is also a cost involved. By letting other people use this Internet access when not needed would help offset the cost and provide a greater community benefit.

Learning center for kids and adults important

By placing a learning center in a community center it will also use the Internet for learning. The kids can use it for doing homework for school or research for school projects. Adults can use the same Internet equipment for learning or research as well

Maybe in the daytime. A fee arrangement could be setup to offset cost. LWC is very interested in supporting this effort. They have talk about providing online study if we do this. Campbellsville U. and Adair County School would also be interested in providing learning opportunities. It would not take much effort on our part to the State system to support this effort either.

Fire protection is cost effective

I contended that better fire insurance ratings will mean many more dollars saved by Adair County taxpayers than the cost to taxpayers to support volunteer fire departments. Let me suggest this where you can verify this claim: Call your insurance agent and ask them, "What would my insurance premium for Class-10, Class-9, or Class-7 fire protection?" Compare the results and come to your own conclusion.

The questions are:
  1. Are the taxpayers of Adair County willing to pay for fire protection (emergency services) to save on their insurance premiums?

  2. Are the taxpayers willing to use some of these saving to create a needed community service?

  3. And, "Are the taxpayers willing to create jobs in our own community instead of New York City?" We need to talk about the economics of this adventure. I'm not an economist and do not understand it fully, but I know by making money work it has a greater economic impact than its face value. Maybe in another editorial we can talk our way through this process.
What needs to happen next?

The county court needs to appoint a committee to develop a more detail plan.

There are people out there to help: Lake Cumberland Development District, USDA Rural Development, etc.

These people have the expertise to help with developing plans and financing. This project has Kentucky's support.

We need County Court support

What we need is County Court support. The County Court is a key player in this process. Without them the other agencies will not help.
To contact the author: Tom Fisher,15835 Knifley RD, Casey Creek KY 42728Phone (606) 787-1784. fishfry@alltel.net
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This story was posted on 2006-03-25 15:18:15
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