Here’s the latest update on broadband for the Side Lake Area from Township Supervisor Julie Lucas according to the most recent email received from Paul Bunyan:
“Our original ReConnect3 grant application was rejected; We then applied for a Border-to-Border grant for several of the areas from the rejected ReConnect3 grant; Later, we discovered that our ReConnect3 grant was rejected due to a minor paperwork issue; after further review we found that we had, actually, complied with the ReConnect3 paperwork requirements and then pointed that fact out to the folks that handle ReConnect3 grants; our grant application was then reopened; in the meantime we were awarded the State of Minnesota Border-to-Border grant for the areas we applied; shortly thereafter the ReConnect3 federal grant was also awarded to Paul Bunyan Communications.
What does all this mean? We will be accepting the ReConnect3 funding. There are a few reasons for this:
1) By doing so, the state money will be available for the State to reissue. This keeps more money in Minnesota
2) We become ineligible for the state Border-to-Border grant when we receive the final federal funding award
The federal paperwork process is taking longer than expected. In the Spring, we needed to provide commitments to our contractors for the upcoming construction season.
Unfortunately, because we have not received the final federal commitment yet, we are unable to provide a commitment to our contractors and have to delay these projects until 2024.”
We know this isn’t the news that folks wanted to hear, but we are thankful that our community is lined up for the 2024 season and that other rural areas in Minnesota will also be able to get connected in the future.
Julie Lucas, Township Supervisor