Join community broadband champions from across the state on Tuesday, April 28 at 9 am CDT to learn how local units of government – townships, cities and counties – can support broadband deployment projects with local tax dollars. There is often a gap between the established community vision and the business case to support the required investment. DEED’s broadband grant program incents the contribution of local tax dollars as it reviews projects and favors those applications that provide local match.
Rebecca Kurtz of Ehlers, a municipal advisory firm, will provide an overview of the local authority and process requirements to provide financing support – bonding, revolving loan fund and other tools.
Brent Olson, Big Stone County Commissioner, will share his county’s story of financing partnership with Acira, a rural broadband cooperative. Through strong local upfront support and the use of long-term bonding, the county has achieved 100% fiber connectivity in its rural area. Commissioner Olson said that this is the most important initiative that the county has undertaken in his time on the board.
Vince Robinson, economic developer for Lincoln County, will describe the incredible investment that Lincoln County is making to assist ITC, a broadband cooperative operating in South Dakota and Minnesota, expand their fiber optic service countywide. The county board views broadband as an essential infrastructure necessary for modern life.
Andrea Nekowitsch, clerk for Chisago County’s Fish Lake Township, will describe the county’s financial partnership with CenturyLink to bring a fiber to the home network throughout the township. Andrea will talk about the strong support of residents for this project even as it called for raising the local tax levy to support the project.
Register here This is the ninth of ten Blandin webinars on community broadband planning.
Click here for more information on the Blandin Broadband Webinar Series including registration for upcoming webinars links to archived webinars.