§31-15C-10. Requirements for project funding assistance; review
of project application by council; competitive
(a) Once the council has categorized unserved areas pursuant
to section six of this article, project sponsors may submit
applications for funding assistance for projects in those unserved
areas. Upon receiving its first completed application for a
categorized unserved area, the council shall post notice of such
application with the Secretary of State for sixty days so as to
allow for competing applications to be submitted to the council.
Within thirty days of the close of the aforementioned sixty-day
notice period, the council shall review all applications timely
received during the sixty-day period and either: (i) Approve
funding for one or more projects after determining that the funding
would constitute an appropriate investment of public funds; or (ii)
if the council determines that the application does not contain all
of the required information or otherwise is incomplete, or that a
proposed project is not eligible for funding assistance, or that
the proposed project is otherwise not an appropriate or prudent
investment of state funds, the council shall deny the project
funding request. Prior to approving or denying any funding
request, the council may seek the advice of any expert consultant
retained pursuant to section seven of this article, but the council
is not bound by that advice. The council shall also consider the
views, if offered, of affected members of the public, including private industry.
(b) To apply for or receive any funding assistance for a
broadband deployment project from the council pursuant to
subsection (a) of this section, the project sponsor seeking the
funding assistance shall submit a completed application to the
council on the form prepared for such purpose by the council
pursuant to section nine of this article.
(c) In reviewing each application, the council may use the
engineering, financial and technical expertise of outside
consultants in addition to the respective staffs of the government
agencies and private-sector entities represented on the council or
other government agencies.
(d) Notwithstanding any provision of article fifteen-a,
chapter thirty-one or any other provision of this code, broadband
deployment project proposals submitted to the council for its
consideration pursuant to this article and the council's decisions
with regard to such projects shall not be subject to review by the
West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council.