STAR JOURNAL REPORT
The state Public Service Commission has approved a grant of $180,566 that Oneida County requested to expand broadband in the county.
The PSC’s Dennis Klaila said the county’s grant – which is for the current fiscal year that runs through June 30, 2017 – was one of 17 grants approved last week among 37 applications. He also noted $1.5 million in grant money was available in fiscal year 2017, for which the PSC received $3.8 million worth of applications.
The county’s broadband application, which was handled by the county’s Economic Development Corporation in an effort to provide greater Internet access, has obtained grant money for approximately 45 percent of the total development costs of $403,236, of which $222,670 is in matching funds from various governmental bodies and private entities.
According to the application, the planned broadband expansion involves 310 square miles in the county with 7,959 total households and 4,877 seasonal households. Development costs include $64,931 in Newbold, $73,041, $135,098 in Harshaw (where two towers will be located), $68,252 in Sugar Camp (where another two towers will be located) and $61,914 for the Town of Three Lakes along Highway X.
The county contributed $13,670 it had available in a broadband account. The town of Newbold provided $33,000 in matching funding, while the town of Crescent contributed $23,000 and the town of Sugar Camp provided $15,000.
Other sources of matching funds included a private group in Harshaw ($60,000), Pitlik and Wick ($7,500), Sowinksi Farms ($7,500) HoneyRock Camp ($5,000), Northwoods Connect ($25,000) and an in-kind contribution from Northwoods Communications ($25,000).