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County OKs one percent money for Arrowhead broadband project

Commissioner Bruce Martinson
Commissioner Bruce Martinson

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CountyBroadbandFunding_072711.mp32.36 MB

The cost of fiber optic has increased as has the determination to make the county’s broadband system as long-lasting and trouble free as possible. To that end, Cook County commissioners voted to support Arrowhead Electric Coop’s broadband build out with sales tax money. Fifth District Commissioner Bruce Martinson:

“The county board was really enthusiastic about the broadband project. We did pass a motion authorizing up to four million of the one percent tax money for Arrowhead Electric’s broadband project.”

Martinson said some costs have gone up and the project now stands at $20.2 million, and Arrowhead has $17 million in grants and loans.

“There’s quite a bit of demand with all the communities installing the fiber. Arrowhead Electric also said that there’s an additional cost that they didn’t have in the original proposal and that was spending a half million putting a lot of the fiber in conduit, that’s going to make for a more robust, longer lasting system.”

Arrowhead has incurred $5.4 million in debt to undertake and complete the project. The one percent funding will be apportioned according to a grant agreement between the electric coop and the county.