January 31, 2019
Last year, while meeting residents of Minnesota House District 20A as a candidate, I heard numerous complaints about access to high speed broadband.
Also during the campaign I attended a Region Nine Broadband Summit, learned where there are significant issues in each township as well as learning about solutions. I met with Dr. John King, my Le Sueur County commissioner, to discuss how to move ahead locally.
An expert from the Blandin Foundation presented at the May 15, 2018, Le Sueur County Board meeting, where the board unanimously approved applying for planning resources from Blandin. That application was approved. A group of county residents and county staff met with providers, took a survey, attended an intensive planning conference last fall.
As a result of these efforts, last December, the commissioners approved a contract for a professional feasibility study and we submitted another Blandin application for a $25,000 grant to support the study. On Jan. 29 the grant was approved! I am so proud of how many county residents stepped up to work in the planning process, the responsiveness of county staff and board, and the timeliness of this process. We are now poised to apply for state funding this fall. This IS rural economic development.
Put your home and/or business on the planning map to help the consultants identify local needs. Improved access to broadband will enhance learning and school funding for e-learning on our numerous snow days.
The survey results will strengthen our fall 2018 application for state funds. The feasibility study is underway. Stay tuned.
Barbara Dröher Kline