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Commission supports Distance Learning Grant

Tim Walker
AMR Reporter

The Pocahontas County Commission voted Tuesday morning to make a $10,000 contribution to the Pocahontas County Board of Education to help meet the approximately $60,000 local match for the USDA Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant.

That grant would provide up to 979 Microsoft Surface Go tablets plus remote keyboards for every student in the county. These tablets could be used for normal class assignments, distance learning such as during this pandemic, as well as for telemedicine appointments.

The grant would also provide equipment to enhance the schools’ WiFi network to handle the increased digital traffic. In addition, an outside covered docking station would be installed at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School where students could plug in to download assignments.

GBEMS currently has no WiFi as it is located in the National Radio Quiet Zone.

The contribution will come from the county’s Coronavirus Grant received from the governor.

In other business, the commission

• accepted the resignation Day Report Center Director Daniel Arbogast

• authorized the advertisement for bids to purchase and install heat pumps at both the 911 Center and in the courthouse.

• approved a resolution for the County Clerk’s Office to request reimbursement in the amount of $6,418 from the 2020 HAVA CARES Act Grant for additional election costs due to COVID-19.

• approved a Budget Revision and Resolution for the assigned fund balance of the Coal Severance Tax Fund to account for $27,025 received in excess of what was expected.

• appointed Sam Gibson and Roger Trusler to three-year terms on the county’s Parks and Recreation Board.

• appointed Greg Hamons to the county’s Farmland Protection Board for a four-year term as a Soil Conservation Affiliated Farmer.

• re-appointed Carol Woody to a five-year term on the county’s Libraries and Visitors Information Centers board.

The Pocahontas County Commission meets the first Tuesday of the month at 8:30 a.m. and the third Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m.

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