TAZEWELL, Va. — Two rural Tazewell County communities will get broadband service soon.

Interim County Attorney Chase Collins told the Industrial Development Authority at its Sept. 11 meeting that the county’s wireless authority has received a $150,000 grant from the Tobacco Commission to offer broadband to the Thompson Valley and Cove communities.

Gigabeam, the company that currently supplies internet to Tannersville and other areas, will be supplying the service. Collins said the IDA has to administer the funds and see that Gigabeam is paid to put the service in place.

[In other action the authority:]  

*Heard from Spencer Morganthau about Southland energy and its plans to replace the HVAC, roof and lighting in the courthouse.  “Of all the things we looked at the roof, HVAC and lights are the things that have to be replaced,’ Morganthau said.

He said the company was getting bids and would come back once they have final plans and prices.  Southlands bid $2.2 million for the work and the county has appointed Darrell Addison, Melanie Proddy, Travis Hackworth and Mike Hymes as a committee to negotiate the final agreement.

County Administrator Eric Young said Southland looked at solar power for the county’s buildings and that led to the decision to replace the roof.   Young said the county is getting pressure from the state to move to solar.

Morganthau said their analysis showed the county’s payback would be 16 years on solar and the life of the panels would be 20 years.  He said it was not feasible to put in the solar panels now but the technology was improving all the time.  Young said the committee decided to do the roof anyway since it is over 20 years old and might develop leaks when equipment and workers get on it to replace the HVAC.

The county took a line of credit earlier this year to finance the repairs to the courthouse.  Southland was the only company to respond to the county’s request for bids.  The work will be done in the evenings when the building is not occupied so the county offices can remain open.

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