VEC Awarded USDA ReConnect Grant for South Meigs County
On Thursday October 8, at the Volunteer Energy Cooperative (VEC) Crossville Service Center, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand announced ReConnect Grant awards to four cooperatives. The awards are a $17 million investment in Tennessee. The cooperatives included Volunteer Energy Cooperative, Ben Lomand Holdings Inc., Highland Communications LLC, DeKalb Telephone Cooperative Inc. and West Tennessee Telephone Company Inc.
VEC received a $3.7 million grant for South Meigs County. Including VEC’s 25 percent match, over $5 million will allow the build-out of 137 miles of new fiber/broadband to an additional 2,000 homes.
VEC President and CEO Rody Blevins stated, “VEC was formed 85 years ago with the mission to provide electric service to unserved rural families. Similar to our original mission, we are now bringing broadband to our members.” He went on to say, “Of the 17 counties VEC serves, Meigs County has the largest area of unserved homes”.
VEC would like to thank USDA State Director Jim Tracy, Farm Bureau President Jeff Aiken, United States Congressman John Rose, TN State Senator Ken Yager, TN State Senator Paul Bailey, TN State Representative Dan Howell, TN Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton, US Senator Marsha Blackburn Field Representative Shirley Pond, US Congressman Scott Dejarlis Field Representative Kelly Puckett, Meigs County Mayor Bill James, and Meigs County 1st District Commissioner Kristy Kelly-Sewell for attending the presentation.