By Taylor Boyd
The Patrick County Board of Supervisors asks residents to complete letters of support for broadband to help with a grant application through the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) and Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
Amy Walker, board clerk and Administrative Assistant, said residents are asked to explain why broadband is important to them or their organization, and how their lives are impacted by the lack of broadband.
“So, if they run their business out of their home and they need broadband to support their business. Or, if they’re an online college student like I am. I mean, I need broadband to be able to do my work from home. If they’re a student and they’re on quarantine, they would need broadband to do their work,” she said.
“We just want to hear from the citizens about how the lack of broadband is impacting their lives,” Walker added.
Walker, who found out about the deadline for the letters of support on August 25, said the grant application is in conjunction with RiverStreet Networks and the regional coalition to improve broadband in the area.
The Patrick County Board of Supervisors voted to commit $1 million to the broadband effort on Aug. 9.
The other coalition members – Franklin, Carroll and Henry counties – also are expected to ask their residents to submit letters of support for the grant.
A template for a letter of support can be found at www.co.patrick.va.us. Click on the Letter of Support from Stakeholders Template. Personal stories should be entered where the blue text is in the body of the template. The name of the submitter, and the date of submission, also should be added at the bottom and top of the letter, respectively.
Walker said the template is self-explanatory.
“We just need to hear from our citizens and our businesses, of course,” she said.
Walker also plans to send email business owners to see if they are willing to participate.
Completed letters should be emailed to Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Patrick County Administration, c/o Amy Walker PO Box 466 Stuart, VA 24171.
The letter submission deadline is September 9, but the deadline for the application is September 14 to ensure that all letters have been received.