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Blandin Foundation grants to City of Annandale to conduct broadband feasibility study

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Blandin Foundation announced today that it has awarded four grants totaling $66,250 that assist rural Minnesota communities in advancing high-speed Internet access and use in their communities.

The City of Annandale will benefit from a $21,250 grant to conduct a feasibility study that will inform the community’s City Council as they look to develop a high-speed broadband network.

“We know that broadband is going to be a needed service for residents and businesses alike in the future,” says Shelly Jonas, City Councilmember and member of Annandale’s Technology Committee. “This grant comes to us at an opportune time so that we can make decisions about how we can help businesses and families be successful in Annandale.”

The study will provide recommendations on what type of services should be offered, who should own and operate the new utility, and what type of technology will be most effective in implementing the high-speed broadband network.

“The Feasibility Study is a key step in improving broadband connectivity in Annandale,” said Mayor Marlene Young. “This study will provide the Council with the technical information necessary to develop a long-term strategy that ensures the broadband needs of our businesses and residents will be met.”

“We are delighted that Annandale’s local leaders are eager to imagine possibilities that can come with high-speed Internet,” said Dr. Kathleen Annette, CEO of Blandin Foundation. “Hopeful leaders make ambitious choices, and Annandale’s residents will benefit from this effort. We’re excited by this work, and the vibrancy it will potentially bring to the region.”

Other grants include:

  • $10,000 to the City of Watertown to create a WiFi hotspot in their Central Business District;
  • $10,000 to the Institute For Local Self Reliance to produce a report that will document best practices and potential pitfalls, as well as project outcomes, for 13 different community case studies to serve as a guide for other rural communities interested in exploring their broadband options;
  • and up to $25,000 to the Austin Community Charitable Fund to conduct a broadband feasibility study.



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