THE TOWN OF VINA RECEIVES SMART GOVERNMENT HONOR FROM REVENUE DISCOVERY SYSTEMS
Town to offer broadband Internet to its citizens and businesses
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – May 7, 2012 – Revenue Discovery Systems (RDS), a government services company providing revenue enhancement support services to state and local government, announced today that the Town of Vina, Ala., is its 2012 Smart Government Award recipient in the Small Municipality category.
Located in western Franklin County, the small rural community of Vina is being recognized for securing a $570,800 Community Connect Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The grant will pay for broadband Internet, bringing this long-overdue technology to the town’s citizens and businesses. The broadband service is also expected to attract new businesses to the area.
The Smart Government Awards program, sponsored by RDS since 2009, recognizes municipalities, counties, and state agencies that are taking innovative steps to enhance growth, create cost savings, and provide environmental benefits. The Small Municipality category is for municipalities with a population of 15,000 or less.
Vina Town Clerk Sue Raper has been on a mission to bring broadband to her town for years. Vina sits next to two towns with high-speed Internet; Raper knew this service had to be possible for her town, too.
“Vina currently has satellite and dial-up Internet access available, which is a start,” says Raper. “Broadband Internet will bring our town to a whole new level. The service will help businesses in the area run much more efficiently, making our lives and work a lot easier. We are very excited to soon have broadband available.”
Vina received the highly competitive Community Connect Grant offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The grant provides the funds necessary to bring Internet access to U.S. towns with populations of less than 20,000 that do not have high-speed Internet. Only one application per town is allowed each year. Vina is the first town in Alabama to receive the Community Connect grant.
R&S Communications, a phone, Internet, and cable television service provider based in Castlewood, Va., is responsible for providing broadband and the necessary technological infrastructure to Vina. The funds from the grant will pay for R&S to install a tower and antenna for the broadband, and 10 computers for public use at the Vina Community Center. R&S will also renovate the community center to make it sufficient for housing the new computers. The community center will expand its hours so that Vina citizens have convenient Internet access on weekends and after business hours.
Scheduled to be up and running this summer, the broadband network will cover a two- to three-mile radius. R&S Communications will offer broadband services to Vina citizens so that they can bring high-speed Internet access into their homes.
Vina has just finished specifications for a new industrial park that sits off of Alabama State Highway 19. In addition to enhancing the lives of its citizens, Vina officials are hopeful that the broadband access will make the industrial park more marketable to prospective businesses.
“The Town of Vina is dedicated to providing top-notch service to its citizens and businesses,” states RDS Director of Business Development Pete Yonce. “Something as simple as broadband will significantly enhance the lives of those who live and work in Vina.”
About the Smart Government Awards:
The Smart Government Awards were developed by RDS to recognize innovative governments and efficient programs in Alabama. The Approval Committee evaluated nominees based on efforts to enhance growth and reduce waste in spending, time and resources, particularly in regard to the environment.
The nominations for several different categories were approved and awarded by a committee comprised of educators, a policy researcher, an environmental conservationist, and a retired municipal employee. Those committee members included Dr. Don-Terry Veal, executive director of the Center for Governmental Services, Auburn University; Tommy Pow, program manager at the University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies; Jim Williams, executive director of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama; Mike Moore, former revenue officer for the City of Opelika; and Adam Snyder, executive director for Conservation Alabama.
RDS is a division of PRA Government Services, LLC. Based in Birmingham, Ala., RDS provides revenue enhancement support services to state and local government in the areas of tax administration, revenue discovery and recovery, and compliance audit examination.
Each year, RDS processes billions of dollars in business taxes, licenses and fees and has simultaneously discovered and recovered millions in unpaid revenues. For more than 30 years, RDS has been committed to delivering government solutions based on outstanding value, competitive pricing, exceptional customer service and compliance with the highest professional standards. RDS currently provides tax administration services for more than 450 state and local government clients and manages 760 professional service contracts. For more information, please visit www.revds.com.
Assistant Vice President, Corporate Communications