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Faribault County moves on broadband

BLUE EARTH– The cities of Bricelyn, Delavan, Elmore and Frost moved another step closer in being able to begin a broadband project to install fiber optic cable in their cities, courtesy of a grant program.

Faribault County Economic Development Authority (EDA) specialist Annie Nichols attended the Faribault County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday to give an update on the project.

“The first step was to complete an environmental review,” Nichols told the commissioners. “This has been completed and we are waiting for the go ahead from DEED (Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development) to post it for review from other government agencies.”

Nichols asked the commissioners to set Dec. 21, during their regularly scheduled meeting, for a public hearing on the matter.

“This grant is money from the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security) Act,” Nichols reminded the board. “I would also ask you to consider contracting with CCG Consulting to prepare the necessary documentation according to state and federal regulations. CCG Consulting is a full-service telecom consulting company and they have extensive knowledge on the grant programs.”

The board passed a motion to hire CCG Consulting to develop a RFP (Request for Proposal) and contract for an ISP (Internet Service Provider) and engineer for th project.

Central Services director Lexi Scholten was also at the meeting to ask the board to approve the hiring of three individuals to work in the Sheriff’s Department.

The board approved the hiring of Erin Beske as the administrative coordinator, Kasta Amundson at a full-time dispatch/jailer and Vincent Do as a part-time deputy.

The board also:

— Approved DMT (Datamaster Transportable) recertification being offered by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) for breath-alcohol testing training for Sheriff’s Department employees Jennifer Howard and Melissa Sonnek

— Voted to approve the request of Kasta Amundson of the Sheriff’s Department to attend a two-day training course for the BCA’s Minnesota Justice Information System (MNJIS).

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