Saline County Justice of the Peace, Keith Keck Updates the GAC on Possible Roundabout at Hwy 5 and DeSoto; Request for American Rescue Plan Funding; and the Aristotle Communication Broadband Project

Below is a copy of Keith Keck’s report to the Governmental Affairs Committee at the July 2021 meeting. JP Keck said:

“Western Saline County Residents,

“Here is the July report I provided to the HSV Governmental Affairs Committee regarding Saline County.”

Possible Roundabout Being Discussed for Highway 5 and DeSoto Blvd Location

“Saline County Leadership (County & City) met to discuss priority state highway projects spanning the entire area of Saline County. The Highway 5 & DeSoto Blvd Intersection/Roundabout Project was endorsed by the Saline County Leadership as the #2 Priority of projects. Judge Arey is very supportive of getting the State of Arkansas to address this intersection before it becomes more of a challenging situation. This Saline County Project List was submitted to Central Region MetroPlan as part of the Central Arkansas Regional Transportation Study 2023-2026 (Transportation Improvement Program). The MetroPlan Board of Directors endorsed the Saline County Submission and it was submitted to the Arkansas Department of Transportation for inclusion in their 2023-2026 Project List.”

HSV’s Request for Consideration of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding

“In conjunction with HSV’s Request for Consideration of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding to each County, Saline County will put out a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) call. The Saline County Judge, County Attorney, and Comptroller are developing the formal RFP process to be ready for the interim US Treasury Guideline/Rules to be finalized for ARPA Fund award criteria. The interim US Treasury Guidelines/Rules specifically identify wastewater and broadband as areas where ARPA funds may be awarded, so hopefully, these areas will remain available when the ARPA Funding Guidelines/Rules go final.

Update on Arkansas Rural Connect Grant Funding

“Saline County Jeff Arey and I meet with Aristotle Communications to receive an update on the $2.9M Arkansas Rural Connect (ARC) Grant Funding received for western and southern Saline County. Their broadband network installation is near completion in these areas, with coverage right outside the HSV East Gate.

“If you are located within a three-mile radius of the Owensville Tower, you may have received a flyer from Aristotle Communications in the mail advertising their broadband service.

During the meeting, the decision was made to increase the amount of the ARC grant funding requested to expand Aristotle into HSV, so that a complete fiber-optic network would be proposed for funding. Aristotle has the unserved/underserved data for broadband service provided by HSV POA available to support this ARC Grant application.”

Respectfully, Keith Keck, Justice of the Peace

Saline County Quorum Court

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