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Updated: June 6, 2022 @ 2:51 pm
OSKALOOSA — The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors is moving forward with a project looking to bring high-speed broadband to underserved parts of the county.
Board members approved during a special meeting Friday a Request for Proposals to be submitted to internet service providers.
The pandemic highlighted a need for reliable high-speed internet access for students and workers throughout the country, and Mahaska County is no exception.
The board has allocated $2 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding made available for broadband expansion in Iowa to the project. Funding will be used to partially fund the cost of infrastructure for the project. Infrastructure may include fiber optics, cabinets, pedestals, poles, pole attachments and more.
Providers interested in being considered for the project will have the opportunity to submit proposals to the board.
The current schedule predicts that negotiations on the project with the selected applicant would begin March 9, 2022.
The goal of the project is to bring high-speed broadband to underserved residences and facilities throughout the county. Board chairman Mark Groenendyk noted that the language in the proposal should include all Mahaska County residents in need of high-speed broadband. Previously, it had placed a focus on unincorporated areas.
“It doesn’t matter if they’re urban or rural,” Groenendyk said. “If they’re underserved, I would like to see this RFP include anybody and everybody that needs high-speed internet.”
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Donald Muhl, 83, passed May 25, 2022, in Hawkins, Texas. He was born January 11, 1939, to Selmer and Irene Muhl. Survivors include wife, Welmina, daughters, Sheila (Drew) Mathias, Teresa (Nathan) Rozenboom, Gretchen (William) Hunt, and grandchildren.
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