County Looks to Join Telecom Board

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ROCK SPRINGS — Tim Knight, IT Director for Sweetwater County appeared at the November 19 Rock Springs City Council meeting to discuss with the council the possibility of Sweetwater County joining the Joint Powers Telecommunication Board (JPTB), which is currently comprised of the cities of Rock Springs and Green River.

Knight said that the county has been a customer of the board since it was formed by the cities in 2001 to create a fiberoptic network to help government entities have internet connectivity and improve broadband access in the community.

“The county is interested in becoming a member of that board. We feel that connection is extremely important to us. It needs to be reliable and it has been very good for us…We’d like to have voice at the table because of its importance,” Knight said. “In the interest of the board and the two cities, the county has resources that can add to and strengthen that agreement.”

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Knight said the county put together a draft agreement to present to both cities for comment and feedback. The county will present to the Green River City Council at their December 3rd meeting.

Councilman David Halter, who also sits on the JPTB, said that adding the county and increasing the board from six to nine members would be beneficial. Halter said expanding the scope of the board to the county in general would give private internet service providers a public partner with which to pursue potential grant funding for projects in the county outside the two cities.

“I think this a great opportunity. I think that the county has some great resources that can be utilized. It would’ve been much easier had the county opted to jump in at the very beginning of this process,” Mayor Timothy Kaumo said.