Reschenthaler Announces Federal Funding for Greene County to Expand Broadband Infrastructure
WASHINGTON, PA – Today, Congressman Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14) announced the Greene County Board of Commissioners received $2.5 million through the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. Greene County will use this funding to construct broadband infrastructure and expand coverage to the unserved and underserved areas of the county. Earlier this year, Reschenthaler sent a letter to ARC advocating for the project.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, reliable broadband internet has been vital in ensuring children continue to receive an education and Americans have access to health care, government programs, and other services vital to everyday life. Too often, rural communities like those in southwestern Pennsylvania are left out due to a lack of broadband infrastructure,” Congressman Reschenthaler said. “I am grateful for the tireless work of Commissioners Betsy McClure, Mike Belding, and Blair Zimmerman. They are tremendous advocates for our communities, and I am glad we were able to work together on this important project to bolster broadband connectivity, empower the people of southwestern Pennsylvania, and close the digital divide.”
“In our continual search for funding to increase service, reliability, and speed of our broadband capabilities, this is the next step, and we are grateful for this opportunity. This project is ready to start and builds on our previous successful investment in broadband, we were just awaiting the funding,” said Commissioner Betsy McClure.
“We continue to make capital investments in the underserved and unserved areas of Greene County with details provided by the feasibility study we completed in early 2020. We continually seek additional funding sources and recently applied for nearly $8 million through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), United States Department of Commerce. These are competitive grant programs, not Greene County tax dollars. Funding is allocated for broadband or other infrastructure improvements and will be spent elsewhere if not in Greene County.” said Commissioner Mike Belding.
The primary goal of the ARC POWER Initiative is to help communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. To date, ARC has invested over $287 million in 362 projects, touching 353 counties across Appalachia since 2015.
More information about ARC’s POWER Initiative is available at www.arc.gov/power. Additionally, interested organizations may contact Matt Mackowiak at Congressman Reschenthaler’s Washington district office at (724) 206-4800 or by email at Matt.Mackowiak@mail.house.gov.