In an effort to reach out and get acquainted with officials and residents in other parts of the county, the Washington County Commissioners met at two venues Thursday, with a 9 a.m. meeting at the Washington County Courthouse and a 6 p.m. meeting at the village offices in Beverly.
At the Beverly venue, Chad Henson, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Marietta-based Smart Networks was scheduled to give a presentation on the high-speed Internet service the firm is offering in Washington County and information about the company's roll-out plan for getting that service up and running.
Earlier in the day, Henson said the cost for Smart Networks' services remains the same as previously reported: $49.95/month and up for Metro Ethernet business service and $29.95 to $59.95 for 4G WiMax residential service. Prices are subject to change.
"We've had a significant amount of residents and businesses subscribe," he said.
Henson said the timeline for work on the Smart Networks' project in Washington County is on schedule.
"Our main goal is getting (Internet) service out to the people who don't have it or are under served, and doing that in a timely manner," said Henson.
Work at the projects head end in Marietta-where all the towers throughout the county are fed-has been completed.
The first phase of Smart Networks' project, which will include deployment of wireless Internet equipment to the county's six MARCS tower sites, is scheduled for completion at the end of January, Henson confirmed.
"We're looking to get the Marietta tower up next week," he said.
The five remaining towers are planned to be located near Belpre, and in Beverly, Macksburg, Little Hocking and Newport.
"We're trying to get into Newport," Henson said. "We're still working with locals and looking for vertical assets in Newport."
In other business:
The county commissioners approved contracts for paving work on two county bridges. One bridge is in Decatur Township on Kennedy Road, the other in Wesley Township on County Road 197.
"These are small bridges where we put new timber strip deck on them. Now both need to be sealed," said Washington County Engineer Bob Badger.
Both jobs should be completed next month, at a cost of $3,800 for the Decatur Township project and $4,900 for the work in Wesley Township.
The Washington County engineer's office also presented a change order for the cost of a joint micro-surfacing project done by the county and Muskingum Township trustees.
Several Devola streets were micro surfaced, and micro surfacing and rut filling were done on County Road 102 in Waterford, which runs up to the AEP plant.
"Over the years, the coal trucks have rutted the asphalt pavement," Badger said.
The micro surfacing project was completed in mid-September at an approximate cost of $184,900.