Duluth is looking at using proceeds from Cirrus property sale go to fund local broadband

Duluth News Tribune reports…

A proposal to direct the proceeds from the sale of a facility to Cirrus Aircraft into a dedicated fund intended to support local efforts to launch a city-owned broadband system received a lukewarm reception at a meeting of the Duluth Economic Development Authority Wednesday evening.

A “statement of purpose” attached to a resolution authorizing the sale of an aviation incubator building to Cirrus for $3.45 million said: “Proceeds of the sale will be used to fund the city’s broadband internet project.”

But DEDA commissioner and at large city councilor Arik Forsman said he could support the resolution only with the understanding that it would not obligate funds for a project that has not yet received council approval.

They already have a fund set up…

Already, the city has directed about $2 million into the broadband fund, with half that money coming from the American Rescue Plan Act and the remainder coming from a decommissioned tax-increment financing district.

Fleege said the proceeds from the sale of the incubator building to Cirrus would bring the balance in the broadband fund to about $5.4 million.

The resolution passed, but it seems like the part of the reason is desire for better broadband and part is desire for a place to park the funds outside of the general funds…

DEDA Commissioner and 3rd District City Councilor Roz Randorf, moved to amend the resolution’s statement of purpose to say proceeds from the property sale to Cirrus “may be” used to fund the city’s broadband internet project, “subject to council approval.” Her motion was seconded and approved by a 6-0 vote before the amended resolution passed by the same margin.

This entry was posted in Community Networks, Funding, MN and tagged by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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