Jackson County Commissioners hears about broadband plans from Federated Rural Electric

The Jackson County Pilot reports

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday heard from Federated Rural Electric General Manager Scott Reimer on plans to bring high-speed broadband to parts of rural Jackson County.

Reimer said Federated intends to apply for several federal and state grants to acquire the necessary funds for the buildout. Right now, Reimer said, Federated is focused on the Border-to-Border grant, which is administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

“There’s a $5 million project cap and the work we have in Jackson County won’t exceed that,” Reimer said. “We’re probably looking at something in the 40- to 45-percent range so we can get this grant.”

Another grant Federated is looking at is the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program grant, which was passed as part of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Reimer said Federated would like to see some county participation in the process but did not ask for any funding at the meeting. He did indicate a desire to work with the board or a committee appointed by the board to work on broadband in the county.

The board made no decision.

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