The Henry County Commission approved matching funds of nearly $100,000 Tuesday to be paired with money from a Community Development Block Grant and pay for fire protection improvements.

The county has a $420,000 grant for the current fiscal year, and it will now match that grant with $98,500, for a total dollar amount of $518,500.

That money will be split about half and half, with some going to purchase a new fire truck for an as yet unnamed rural fire department in the county, and some going to aid the Henry County 911 project to provide radios to first responders, which includes all the rural fire departments in the county.

The funds will allow 911, the county and the City of Paris to complete its countywide radio project, which has been ongoing for more than two years. The new digital radio system will allow direct communication between each agency operating locally.

In another item Tuesday, County Mayor John Penn Ridgeway announced that Charter Spectrum, one of the private internet providers in the county, is receiving $98 million from the Federal Communications Commission, money that will be funneled through the state to various counties throughout Tennessee.

Ridgeway said it’s estimated that 1,100 homes in Henry County will gain new access to rural broadband service as a result of the money.

The county already has a working agreement with West Kentucky & Tennessee Telecommunications Cooperative of Mayfield to provide broadband to between 1,000 and 1,500 homes in the county in underserved areas.

A few committee appointments were made, including Wes Bradley to the Committee on Aging, Norma Gerrell to the Board of Health, and Brent Greer and Pat Hollingsworth to the Legislative Committee.

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