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

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s