CAMDEN — Camden Village Council received an update on funding for an upcoming building project in the village during its bi-monthly meeting, Thursday, June 2.
As part of House Bill 687, also called the Capitol Budget Bill, the Village of Camden will receive funding in the amount of $175,000 dollars to be spent on the construction of a Technology Center in Camden. The purpose of the Technology Center is to grant access to village residents to high-speed internet connection, computers, and other technological devices. It will also increase broadband speeds and accessibility in certain parts of the village.
“Preble County is significantly lacking in broadband, so what this will allow us to do is tie into the school, that has a good amount of broadband already, and will allow us to improve the broadband through South-Main,” said Benjamin Gunderson, who council credits as spearheading the project thus far. “The kids that are in the rural areas, they really struggle to complete their homework, tests, whatever it may be. So, to offer a centralized spot where they can complete that stuff, the homework, the tests, they can work together, that’s one of the main goals.”
Council and Gunderson have high hopes for the potential possibilities the Technology Center could provide, not only for grade-school education, but partnerships with higher education organizations, such as community colleges and state universities. Councilwoman Kate Duskey made the point clear that all devices offered at the Technology Center will be open to the public, not schools and students exclusively.
“Libraries have changed dramatically. The services they provide to the community is no longer just books, so we are lacking in some areas, mainly the community center is what is needed,” Mayor Keesler said regarding the Technology Center and a possible collaboration with the Preble County Library. “We need the space for programming, and community events, because we don’t have any room. We’re bursting at the seams as it is. To offer more E-programs, E-books, databases, things of that nature is what the public wants from their library.”
Gunderson said in a closing statement, “I think what’s so special about the project is this isn’t something we’re going to make money off of, this is truly a community thing. To be able to have a centralized spot in which the community can go to access the library, the computers, there’s a lot of collaboration. I think that’s what makes it special.”
House Bill 687 is awaiting a signature from Governor Mike Dewine.
In other business:
Council received grievances from members of the community regarding flooding within and around the village. According to these individuals, they have been experiencing immense flooding during heavy rain, resulting in property damage. Council made clear they are aware of the issue, and are actively investigating solutions to this, and other water-related issues around the village.
For more information about House Bill 687, visit www.legislature.ohio.gov. Camden Village Council meetings are public meetings held on the first and third Thursday of each month, at 7 p.m. at Camden Town Hall.
Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057 and follow on Twitter @NathanHoskins13