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Tourism developments and broadband internet expansion discussed at Madison Co. Commissioners meeting

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - The Madison County Board of Commissioners held its’ February meeting this morning. At the meeting, the board discussed several topics including the latest developments in tourism and the expansion of broadband internet in the county.

“So as far as hospitality in Jackson-Madison County we have great growth in the market,” said Lori Nunnery, the Executive Director with Visit Jackson, TN.

At the commissioners' meeting, Visit Jackson talked about tourism developments in the county.

“As we continue to work on the Great Wolf Lodge project and coming closer to breaking ground, we also look at the other hotels in the pipeline. As of right now, we have five additional hotels in our pipeline. What that says to me as a tourism professional is that they see the value in what’s happening in Jackson, and they want to make a good sound financial investment in our community,” said Nunnery.

The Jackson Chamber of Commerce also spoke at the meeting saying the downtown development continues with two more buildings selling for a million dollars.

The county also discussed an effort to expand broadband internet service for the rural communities in Madison County.

“Back in September, Madison County had voted to make the county a broadband-ready community. Working with Southwest Electric and them coming in to actually provide those services. They actually get the grants from the state of Tennessee. The state of Tennessee did not give us that grant, to begin with, and Southwest continued the project on their own and they are about 80 percent complete with that project now in Beech Bluff,” said

Commissioner Jeff Wall with Madison County.

The commissioner says they do not have a completion date on the project yet but believes this will be an asset for Madison County residents.

“There is no cost to the county. This is a grant process. We voted on bringing 150,000 dollars or 10 percent, whichever is smaller of the grant in order to bring it to Madison County. However, that 150,000 or ten percent will come out of our ARP fund, the American Rescue Plan funds. It will not come from the general fund for the county,” said Commissioner Wall.

The Board of Commissioners says the entire internet broadband project is estimated to cost about nine million dollars.

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