Faribault County hears broadband progress

BLUE EARTH– Faribault County continues to make great strides in getting its residents connected to the fiber optic network.

This was part of the message Economic Development Authority specialists Annie Nichols and Jennifer Howard shared with the Faribault County Commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday.

“The county received a grant in the amount of $2,886,206 from the State of Minnesota in 2021 to deploy fiber to Bricelyn, Delavan, Elmore and Frost,” Nichols said. “In 2022, Faribault County partnered with Bevcomm to begin the installation process.”

Nichols shared some of the accomplishments which have taken place in the last year.

“Over 17.7 miles of fiber lines have been laid. This has impacted 700 homes and 110 businesses,” she shared. “This year the construction process will continue by splicing the lines up to the dwellings and connecting to Bevcomm’s fiber network. Through this partnership, our county’s residents have more access to broadband which will provide a future-proof technology for successful telehealth, telework and school from home capabilities.”

Howard touched on other ways the EDA has been able to provide assistance in the county.

“The EDA partnered with the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office to provide safety shields and helmets to all agencies within the county,” Howard commented. “The purchase of this equipment will benefit the community as well as the law enforcement agencies within the county.”

Howard also explained how the EDA was able to help the Kiester Market improve their business.

“Through the EDA, the Kiester Market was able to obtain a Good Food Access Program Grant in the amount of $15,000,” Howard said. “With this grant, the Kiester Market was able to purchase new equipment to create a healthy grab and go section in the store. Not only did this help make the store more energy efficient, it also was a cost-effective way to increase visibility of nutritious meals for their customers.”

Nichols reminded the commissioners the EDA will be sponsoring a job fair on April 26, at the Ag Center in Blue Earth.

The board also:

— Voted to approve the liquor license renewal for the Golden Bubble.

— Approved the hiring of Jana Sanders and Denise Eisenmenger to fill vacancies at the Sheriff’s Department effective March 19.


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