LEE COUNTY —The Commission has moved forward with American Rescue Plan Act funding for broadband projects.
“We have been meeting over the last two months, we formulated a team,” said County Administrator Holly Leverette.
Leverette said the team has met with the ICA partners and the Sain and Associates partners.
“They have been guiding us through this process, through our application process for the four areas that you all identified as areas that are completely unserved, which means there is no internet or broadband there at all,” she said.
These four areas are Loachapoka, Salem, Waverly and the South Central Region
The commission voted to approve Broadband Expansion Grants to Point Broadband for over $345,100 for the Loachapoka area. It also approved grants to R.M. Greene doing business as Beam for over $169,500 for the Salem area. Finally, the commission approved grants R.M. Greene doing business as Beam for over $469,700 for the South Central Region.
While Waverly is the fourth area needing broadband, the commission packet said it did not receive any applications as an ISP Provider. Point Broadband said it recently completed a project in Waverly, according to the packet.
“Following completion of a broadband feasibility study performed to identifypriority unserved and underserved areas where the county should expand broadband fiber optic infrastructure, the Lee County Commission voted unanimously at its regular meeting on June 12, 2023, to allocate up to $4,392,071.00 of ARPA funds for the expansion of broadband fiber optic infrastructure in unserved and underserved portions of Lee County,” the commission’s packet said.
For the Loachapoka area, 11.72 miles and 394 addresses would be covered. The South Central project would cover 11.1 miles and 187 addresses. Finally, in Salem, it would cover 8.5 miles and 110 addresses.
This leaves over $3 million left in the funding for broadband, Leverette said.
“The last communication the team had when we met was moving forward,” Leverette said. “We’ve heard citizens come before us talking about roads, we have identified some areas where the county, it could be helpful, in areas, such as some of the parks, where there’s not internet, and the houses that are surrounding those parks … So, that was what the consensus was for the team was to go back to Sain, see other areas and other additional projects that we could look at spending some of this money.”
District 2 Commissioner Ross Morris said he is glad to move forward with the projects.
“I’m thankful that citizens of Loachapoka and Salem and … South Central are all finally getting [broadband] and that’s what we wanted, we want to help the people that don’t have any service first, so that’s what we ask for,” Morris said.
All projects will be completed within a two year time frame.

  • John Findley with Beulah Friends of the Community recognized John McDonald with the Environmental Services Department.
  • The commission heard the first reading of a vacancy on the Smiths Station Fire and Rescue Board.
  • The commission heard the second reading of a vacancy on the Beulah Utilities Board.
  • The commission postponed a decision on the collection and administration of taxes. The commission will read over information and make a decision.
  • The commission approved the FY 2024 Outside Appropriations as follows:
  • Emergency Transport System (EAMC), $376,517
  • Auburn University Airport Terminal project, $100,000
  • Airport FM projects $30,000
  • Lee County Alternative Sentencing Board, $100,000
  • Lee County District Attorney, $50,000
  • Airport runway safety zone extension, $100,000
  • Lee-Russell Council of Governments, $162,637
  • State Public Health Dept., $120,000
    Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, $106,321
  • East Alabama Mental Health, $64,050
  • Lee County DHR, $4,725
  • Horseshoe Bend Library, $20,000
  • Child Advocacy Center, $17,500
  • Judicial Volunteer Program, $12,000
  • East Alabama Services for the Elderly (EASE), $10,000
  • Lee County Historical Society, $11,000
  • Valley Haven School, $8,000
  • Auburn Daycare Center, $6,000
  • Domestic Violence Intervention Center, $6,000
  • Lee County Firefighters Association, $20,000
  • Museum of East Alabama, $6,000
  • Community Market, $2,650
  • Soil & Water Conservation, $6,000
  • Loachapoka Family Enrichment Center, $27,551
  • Alabama Kidney Foundation, $5,000
  • One Voice Shelter Coalition, $14,000
  • Girls S.T.E.P.S., $9,500
  • The Curtis House, $9,500
  • Dream Day Foundation, $8,500
  • Forward Opelika (Chamber of Commerce), $25,000
  • Rape Counselors, $9,000
  • CASA, $2,500
  • The commission voted to replace the 2024 Fiscal Year Budget.
  • The commission approved the 2024 Gas Tax Fund Budget Adjustment.
  • The commission voted to approve a change in polling places in the county. The city of Auburn received four more polling locations.
  • The commission approved the FY 2024 Local Roads Safety Initiative Award funding match that the county needs.
  • The commission approved the county to authorize the ARPA Stormwater Grant Award funding agreement.
  • The commission asked the Engineering Department to grade the non-county maintained paved roads, then the commission will discuss what it wants to do with the roads.