Access to broadband and the speed of the service are some of the factors often given for lack of economic development in our area.  That's why St. Louis County is trying to rectify the situation.

Residents and businesses in St. Louis County are reminded to make use of some available grant funding for broadband projects.  From planning service to implementation, the money is available for a wide variety of qualifying projects that fall under the umbrella of improving access for everyone.

That funding is available primarily through two different sources.

The biggest of those two sources is the money available from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).  A total of $95 million is available in broadband grants as part of their Border-To-Border Broadband Infrastructure grant program.  That funding has been made available form both state and federal sources.

According to details of the grant provided by St. Louis County, the program money can be used to "reimburse up to half the cost of the broadband infrastructure deployed; funding for a single project is capped at $5 million".

At the same time, St. Louis County still has more than $610,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds left to distribute to applicants for eligible broadband projects.  This total fund amount includes "$175,000 for broadband planning costs and $438,000 for project implementation costs".  The purpose of this available funding is to "increase broadband access in unserved and underserved communities in St. Louis County".

Details and application information for the DEED grant money is available on the State of Minnesota website; click here for details.  Deadline to apply is August 4.

Additional details on the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding is available on the St. Louis County website.  Click here to see that information.

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