At the Tuesday, March 30 Franklin County Redevelopment Commission meeting, the board unanimously approved a Franklin County Community School Corporation funding request for the agriculture department.

The request was for $4,900 to purchase microscopes and testing equipment for lab soil analysis.

FCRC is permitted to put 15 percent of what they are capturing through the Tax Increment Financing district on an annual basis back into the school system. According to commission president Bill Schirmer, they are capturing roughly $35-$40,000.

This grant request has been an ongoing discussion, and Schirmer was recently able to meet with one of the ag educators to learn more about what the board would be purchasing. Schirmer reported he was very impressed by what the ag department is doing. The equipment will be shared by both the middle and high school ag classes. The board agreed this was a worthwhile opportunity and approved the funding request with the stipulation that if the school were to request more money in the future, it would not necessarily be a recurring agreement.

Franklin County Economic Development Commission president John Palmer was also present to give some updates on broadband opportunities in the county. The most recent opportunity would expand broadband to Metamora and Laurel. Palmer attended the last FCCSC school board meeting to fill in the trustees.

Palmer said a few years ago the federal government provided money to schools in the form of a matching grant to put in a line that would connect the schools from Brookville to Laurel and Mt. Carmel. During this process, the company who was doing this put in an additional line. Last year, the company who added the line asked if the county knew of anyone who could make use of it.

The line is separate from the school line, so there would be no interference in that respect. Palmer said they are currently trying to find out if there are enough people who would be interested in taking advantage of that connection.

The next FCRC meeting is scheduled for April 27 at 5 p.m.