Sherburne County talk top legislative issues – broadband makes the list

Hometown News Source reports on a meeting earlier in January where policymakers met with folks in Sherburne County about legislative priorities. Legislative attendees include Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake; Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River; Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, Rep. Jim Newberger, R-Becker, Sen. Jerry Relph, R-St. Cloud and Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, who is speaker of the House. A seventh legislator, Sen. Andrew Mathews, R-Milaca, was represented by his legislative assistant….

The county is interested in increasing rural area broadband fiber access.

Assistant County Administrator Dan Weber said a 2014 survey found that more than 60 percent of respondents felt their broadband access was inadequate then or would be in the future.

Since then, the county has received grants to improve access. Additional funding was provided through a federal program. As a result, Sherburne’s rank with regards to access to broadband has gone from 49th to 31st out of 87 counties, with the percent served rising from 74 percent to 85 percent. More, however, needs to be done, he said.

The county also supports the creation of a competitive freight rail economic grant program to improve rail infrastructure and spur economic development.

Weber said there is a lot of undeveloped land in Sherburne County near rail lines, but it isn’t necessarily shovel ready.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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