The Martin County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday heard from Scott Bohler of Frontier Communications, Inc. who asked for a letter of support from the county for the grant application to the DEED- Office of Broadband, Minnesota Border to Border Grant Program.
The proposed project would cover about 500 locations in the Fairmont, Northrop and Ceylon area.
Commissioner Kathy Smith asked if the proposal was brought to the broadband committee. Bohler said the specifics haven’t been presented to them.
The commissioners noted that the city of Ceylon has already received a broadband grant and has been working with Federated on a project. Bohler said they had designed the project based off of the areas that the state program identified as eligible for funding.
There was some back and forth in part because the area in question had already received funding but also because Frontier was interested in covering the city only and the Board wanted the whole area to be covered. In the end, the Board decided to support the project…
Smith asked about the $3.5 million project Frontier did in 2016. Bohler said the expectations have changed from then to now.
Bohler said that the grant needs to be applied for by Thursday this week. Commissioner Elliot Belgard noted that Frontier could apply for it without a letter of support from the county.
“I don’t think supporting it can necessarily be a bad thing. If it’s not worthy we’ll let the committee that decides who gets the grants say it’s not worthy, not us,” said Belgard.
Smith made a motion to approve of the letter of support for Frontier.