GOSHEN TOWNSHIP- The township trustees are supporting a county initiative that would bring broadband Internet access to the township.
The trustees Monday night approved a resolution in support of a feasibility study of Mahoning County Regional Shared Services for Local Government Innovation Fund, which would offer grants and loans for shared services between government entities, similar to the Area Cooperative Computerized Educational Support System (ACCESS) used by school districts in Mahoning and Columbiana counties.
The study could help secure Local Government Fund money to develop the program which would provide a fiberoptic network and technology services for townships, villages and other governmental entities in the county, according to Fiscal Officer Tom Knoedler. The more entities that express an interest in joining the prospective program, the better chance funding can be secured for it, he noted. The program is free to join, but it is unknown as of now just how many entities are interested.
The trustees have been seeking ways to bring high-speed Internet access to the highly rural area, for both residents and the administration sites.
According to Knoedler, the Administration Building, a former elementary school in the West Branch Local School District, is not currently equipped with the fiber for high speed Internet. Since the building was no longer going to be used by the district, it was bypassed when the schools were being wired for Internet access.
The nearest fiber is at state Routes 165 and 534, approximately two miles to the west, and would cost roughly $50,000 to run the material to the building at its own cost, Knoedler said. The cost to the township would be minimal through the county program, though, and the township would also presumably save money on Internet fees, he said.
Kevin Howell can be reached at email@example.com