Trumann Chamber working with TIDC and Ritter to improve internet in Trumann Industrial Park
During a Trumann Chamber of Commerce board meeting Tuesday, Chamber Director Barbara Lewallen said she has been in talks with Ritter Communications to improve internet access for businesses in Trumann Industrial Park.
Lewallen said Bobby Southard, owner of Lectri-Flo, had asked her about the possibility of Ritter putting in fiber optics to improve internet access for businesses on that side of town. Lewallen spoke to other business owners on Industrial Drive and heard similar stories of poor internet service.
After negotiations with Ritter Communications, Lewallen said putting in fiber optics would cost $30,000, and Ritter Communications agreed to absorb $15,000 of that cost if the chamber agreed to pay for $5,000 and the Trumann Industrial Development Commission (TIDC) agreed to pay for $10,000. The chamber board voted unanimously to approve the $5,000 expenditure.
According to Lewallen, Ritter Communications estimated the project would take 90 days to complete at the longest. Lewallen noted this project was a joint function between the chamber and the TIDC.
Lewallen also gave an update on the Sims-Talbot Adult Education/Workforce Development Center. A groundbreaking was held on Sept. 8, and Construction Network, Inc. (CNI) projected the center will be complete in 5-6 months. Lewallen said the chamber is working with ASU-Newport to offer expanded programs for workforce development.
During the board meeting, Trumann School Superintendent Myra Graham gave an update on construction of the new elementary school. Nabholz Construction will be the contractor. Graham said they were instrumental in advertising the need for the 2.8 millage increase for the new school.
Graham said the district's plan to get input from the community on the design of the new elementary school "wasn't just lip service. We need to know what's best for Trumann and for our kids." Graham said the district is currently seeking input from teachers, plans to do focus groups with parents, and will work with the community, the chamber, and the city council on the blueprints. "We are so excited. We're all smiles, and we appreciate the the community and those who voted," Graham said.
In other school news, Graham said Apple has asked to send schools from out of state to see how Trumann is using technology and project-based learning, and she was approached by Google about the possibility of hosting a Google Summit for educators in the Spring.