DEED awards $11M for 15 greater Minnesota projects

    Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development on Friday announced $11 million in broadband grants for 15 greater Minnesota communities, and Halstad Telephone Company is getting $424,460 of that for broadband expansion in Gentilly Township of Polk County.

    According to the DEED announcement, HTC will build out infrastructure in Gentilly Township to provide high-speed Internet to 114 households, 20 businesses and one community anchor institution. Total project costs are $931,000. The remaining $504,540 (54 percent local match) will be provided by HTC. According to DEED, the project will enable more effective agricultural management and teleworking opportunities.

    The broadband funding was awarded under DEED’s Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program, which Governor Mark Dayton signed into law in May 2014. This year, DEED received 44 applications for funding, totaling more than $29 million in requests. Recipients were selected based on an internal review and scoring process.

    The latest round of broadband grants will improve access to high-speed broadband for 3,222 households, 786 businesses and nearly 90 community institutions throughout the state.

    The funding for HTC's Gentilly Township project is the closest geographically the Crookston. Beyond that, the next closest broadband projects to receive funding are in Otter Tail and Wadena counties.