Some background information on the Congressionally Directed Spending (formerly known as earmarks) from Senator Klobuchar’s site…
The Senate Appropriations Committee announced the return of Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) in the Fiscal Year 2023 federal appropriations process. Any CDS request must comply with Senate Rule XLIV.
Congressionally Directed Spending is capped at one percent of all discretionary spending. For-profit entities are not eligible for Congressionally Directed Spending. A specific list of accounts that are eligible for CDS requests can be found here. Only these accounts are available for CDS requests.
Just made public, are the broadband-related Congressionally Directed Spending requests made by Senator Klobuchar to Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies:
- Wabasha County
Wabasha County is seeking proposals from qualified firms to assist the county in implementing the county’s vision for broadband: All residents have access to adequate and affordable broadband. To help progress in that vision that County Board is considering using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to establish a grant program for existing Broadband vendors to expand services within the County. The purpose of this engagement is to identify a consultant to help in developing a grant program for existing providers that will make use of ARPA funds available to the county for the construction and expansion of broadband to serve county residents, businesses, and institutions.
All cities and townships in Wabasha County MN $75,000
- Balkan Township
Funds will be used to design, engineer and construct a fiber network over two square miles connecting 330 households, a population of 808, to high-speed Internet service.
Balkan Township MN $5,313,000
- Consolidated Telephone Company (CTC)
The project being proposed by Consolidated Telephone Company (CTC) affects five areas within Crow Wing, Benton, and Cass counties in north central Minnesota. Currently, the 300+ homes and businesses in these rural areas do not have access to internet service for everyday needs and essential services. They are considered 100% unserved at this time. When this project is successfully completed, residents and businesses will have access to high-speed, reliable broadband internet with an efficient and productive speed of up to 1 Gigabit. Access to broadband is as imperative today as electricity was 75 years ago. This fiber-to-the-home project would enable residents to take advantage of educational opportunities and telehealth services that are not currently available to them. Federal funding, combined with CTC’s efforts and support from the areas’ leaders, will provide residents with the opportunity to attend school, work from home, access telemedicine services, maintain viable businesses, and remain healthy and safe in their homes. A reliable, affordable fiber broadband network is the backbone of any successful rural area; providing residents, healthcare workers, business owners, teachers, community advocates, remote employees, students, and farmers with the necessary connectivity that they need and deserve.
Bay Lake, Maple Grove, Sylvan, & Langola Townships Crow Wing County MN $1,391,000
- Le Sueur County
LeSueur County is a rural community south of the Twin Cities Metro, west of Northfield, north of Mankato and east of St. Peter. The county seat is in LeCenter, population 2,500. It is a “between” area; that is to say made up of rural farms and a large percentage of people commuting to jobs outside the county. We are a farming community: SALES 24 dairy farms, one organic- $11 million, 85 hog farms- $35 million, 67 beef farms- 13 million, 469 grain oil soybeans farms- $111 million. There is a growing family-based CSA farm industry raising produce for local consumption marketing through internet sales/delivery. Other local businesses: International coffee, desserts, breweries, wineries Bars, restaurants, stores, pharmacies, grocery stores Many farms/home based businesses Lakes/tourism 4 school districts 2 townships in the county are completely built out with fiber-to-homes, farms, businesses. This is thanks to township, county, state and CARES funding, a $3.8 million project. With CARES act funds was spent $1.7 million on middle mile fiber across the county and 7 fixed wireless broadband with redundant fiber and free WiFi spots at the county fairgrounds, county campgrounds and township halls. With the Blandin Foundation and the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, since May 2018 residents, the County commissioners, and Townships have been engaged in planning for broadband/county wide economic development. We have been stalled with 2 years of no new construction. Residents are frustrated/can’t understand why. This project will re-engage our providers and get us on the move once again in 12 townships.
Cleveland Township, Cordova Township, Elysian Township, Kasota Township, Kilkenny Township, Lexington Township, Montgomery Township, Ottawa Township, Sharon Township, Tyrone Township, Washington Township, Waterville Township MN $11,977,000
- City of Paynesville
Deploying a fiber network to 735 residential dwellings and 74 businesses in the City of Paynesville to meet the essential needs of homes, businesses, e-learning, and telemedicine by offering 1Gig broadband service.
Paynesville MN $261
- Greenwood Township
This project will provide fiber to the home to 1,370 HH/passings in Greenwood & Lake Vermillion Townships in rural NE MN.
Tower MN $5,000,000