Broadband moves forwardAnother phase in Lake County’s quest for broadband got the go-ahead at this week’s Lake County Board meeting.
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
Another phase in Lake County’s quest for broadband got the go-ahead at this week’s Lake County Board meeting.
The board passed a resolution that authorizes the chairman to sign and the county to submit a Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program Application with the Rural Utilities Service. The resolution is contingent on the approval of the county attorney.
Gary Fields, a representative of National Public Broadband (who is helping the county with the grant application process along with a marketing survey) said they are fine tuning the application, which is quite lengthy.
Results for the survey should be known soon, but Fields said the firm they are using for the study has indicated responses have been extraordinary. However, he said he was not told if they were extraordinarily good or bad.
Fields said he suspected that answer meant things were probably looking good.
According to “Frequently Asked Questions” for the broadband project available at www. co.lake.mn.us: “The fiber network will be financed by the operational revenue of the network. Lake County is acting as a conduit to receive federal financing to build out the network. The taxpayers will not be responsible for any debt. This was one of the major reasons for the county moving forward on this.”
In other county board news:
- A resolution was passed to purchase a new boat, motor and trailer for $17,000 for the sheriff’s office using State of Minnesota Boat and Water Fund grant funds. The grant can only be used for on-water activities and equipment and can be used for purposes such as drowning recovery operational expenses, along with water rescues and enforcement.
Lake County Sheriff Carey Johnson and Undersheriff Jerry Norberg also discussed getting a drug investigator for Lake County. The funds for the position would be paid through a grant, which they have already received.
They are also looking to get a grant to fund a general investigator position, which would have their position paid for 100 percent for three years, as long as they are signed on for a fourth.