A new public computer station at the Wellsburg Volunteer Fire Department will provide a much-needed service to area residents, and we thank all those involved for seeing it happen.
The new computer lab is the result of a partnership between the fire department, the federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Future Generations Graduate School. Best of all, the use of these 10 computers is completely free to the public. We also would like to thank firefighter Edwin Kins for agreeing to serve as the mentor of the computer lab. This is work he is doing for the community on his own time in addition to his service as a firefighter, and he deserves to be recognized.
While much of our daily lives depends on some form of computer access, we recognize not everyone has one of their own. Our local libraries have some computers available for the public, but there is still concern about access for those who can't make it to the library or those who are just looking to learn some basic computer skills.
This station is the first of its kind to be established in the Northern Panhandle. Plans are in the works for a similar computer lab to be set up in the Follansbee Volunteer Fire Department for residents of that community.
The grant for the Wellsburg station should provide funding for approximately four months, and while the fire department will be able to keep the computers, the public use will be dependent upon the availability of future funding.
We encourage those involved to work to find ways to keep this and labs like it funded for as long as possible.