The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

County board votes to provide local match for broadband study grant

 

September 13, 2018



Wahkiakum County commissioners on Tuesday voted to apply for an application for a grant to study the feasibility of creating a broadband network in the county.

Government entities have had a committee studying creation of a broadband network, and last week, Wahkiakum PUD agreed to lead an application for the grant. The group had suggested Wahkiakum County has appropriate funding to provide the 25 percent local match, and PUD General Manger Dave Tramblie brought that request to the board of county commissioners.

The maximum amount for the grant would be $50,000, so the 25 percent match would be

$12,500 or less.

Tramblie said he is talking with consultants about the scope of the grant proposal, so the actual amount could be less.

Commissioners said they supported the goal of bringing broadband to areas of the county with poor internet access. They wondered if the committee had approached other entities such as the Town of Cathlamet for sharing the match.

Tramblie replied that the group wanted to submit the grant application as soon as possible. They felt that by trying to get several other entities to participate, the application would be delayed. The grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis, he said.

Commissioner Dan Cothren moved to provide the local match for the grant up to $12,500. Blair Brady seconded the motion, and it passed.

Brady said he hoped the committee would seek other funding partners for the grant, and he added that he has contacted legislators about a bill that would allow the PUD to provide the service.

Currently, state law allows PUDs to provide infrastructure which a private company can rent to provide broadband service to customers.

 

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