Community partnership: Fort Loudon gets free WiFi hotspot

Fort Loudon now has a free WiFi system local residents can access without fees, thanks to the Franklin County LIbrary System, a local church, bank and generous citizen.

The library system installed exterior WiFi access points to the steeple of Trinity United Church of Christ, 13189 Main St. recently. Funding for the installation included a $3000 grant from Community State Bank (CSB) and a generous donation from Bill Reynolds, Waynesboro,

The grant was a part of the CSB’s gala 70th anniversary celebration and Grant Giveaway . The bank chose a number of area nonprofit organizations from a total of 106 applications submitted. It awarded a total of $30,000 to successful applicants struggling from a lack of fundraising income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The grants reflect CSB’s commitment to providing help where it’s most needed, President and CEO Trudy Everhart said. She called the grants “even more important this year given the many hardships of 2020.”

“We realize a lot of organizations weren’t able to do big fundraisers because of COVID; and they’re really struggling right now. We wanted to help them out,” said Everhart. “Community State Bank has always made a commitment to the communities in which we’ve served; and giving back to those communities has always been important to us.”

Filling a need

Denice Bigham, FCLS Senior Director of Operations, said the WiFi project fills a need in the community.

“This is a great partnership between the church, bank, library, and a Franklin County resident,” she said . “This is just a beginning point; and we at Franklin County Libraries hope to grow this service over time.”

Fort Loudon
Map showing where the public can connect to WiFi internet in Fort Loudon.

The public can access this free internet by parking near the church and connecting to the WiFi Trinity Guest