The Edenton Chowan Partnership has been selected to participate in the Cool and Connected Program sponsored by the USDA Rural Utilities Services and the US EPA, according to Larry Lombardi, executive director of the partnership.

The program offers planning assistance to communities interested in expanding their opportunity to offer broadband capabilities, Lombardi said during a presentation at the January 10, 2017 Town of Edenton Town Council meeting. He and Chowan County Extension Director Mary Morris successfully prepared the application.

“The Cool and Connected Program is a pilot program that started in the spring of 2016”, he said. “We have been selected in Phase II of this program and we know we don’t know all the answers but we will be working and meeting with the various stakeholders in the town and surrounding neighborhoods to find out what will work best for our community.”

Lombardi said he is already hearing from interested businesses in the community about the program.

“We have heard from various people within our community who are interested in leveraging broadband for the purpose of enabling the town’s main street and our existing neighborhoods to take advantage of broadband services that are already in place or can be put into place using the existing fiber resources already in hand,” he said. The Cool and Connected Program is designed to help us for this purpose and the planning process will help us figure out our strategy and plan for leveraging broadband to create a great place to live and work,” Lombardi added.

At press time Tuesday, Lombardi had scheduled a teleconference for Tuesday with representatives of Smart Growth America, USDA Rural Utilities Service and the EPA Office of Sustainable Communities.

Originally printed in The Chowan Herald