In their first meeting of the month, the Fort Scott City Commission decided to enter into an agreement with Kansas Fiber Network, allowing the company to lay fiber optic cable through the city to provide internet access for local businesses.
The Kansas-based company with 25 employees and headquartered in Wichita will lay the cable along Indian Road from the west and then north on Horton Street and east on 18th Street before again running north on Judson Street.
Debbie Edwards, the company’s business development executive, said right now they will not provide their services to residential areas, but instead target customers such as government, education, medical, anchor institutions and similar entities.
The Kansas Fiber Network currently serves more than 400 communities and continues to expand, but without becoming exclusive or impersonal as some other major providers might.
“What I really like…is that we have a really big network but a small-town feel,” Edwards said of the company, which she said is staffed by Kansans.
Fort Scott’s director of information technology Slayden Davis said he has been working with the company over recent months and said he would call their services a “major backbone for our neck of the woods.”
The quorum of commissioners, with Mayor Cindy Bartelsmeyer and commissioner Lucas Cosens absent, approved the agreement unanimously.
The commission also heard a report from Rebecca Brubaker, executive director of the Safehouse Crisis Center in Pittsburg, which provides refuge for battered women who may have suffered from domestic abuse or stalking.
The center serves seven Kansas counties, housing about 40 from Bourbon County each year while serving about 750 in total annually, helping them with immediate needs as well as trying to help them become self-sufficient.
The commission decided to donate $1,000 toward Safehouse’s $1.2 million campaign for a larger facility.
In executive session, the commissioners decided to extend their contract with city manager Dave Martin another five years while also giving him a two percent raise.