Archives for December 2017

CEDA Team Member Proposes a New, Interactive Map to Catalyze Tourism and Recreational Activity in Fillmore County

Article by: Marty Walsh

A new map being developed by the Fillmore County EDA aims to increase exposure to the county’s many outdoor recreation amenities for tourists and residents alike.

The new map, which is planned to be available on-line in time for Spring outdoors season, will allow users to see whatever combination of recreational activities they are interested in by turning off and on different layers of data. Currently, there is no map that combines the many Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, County, Municipal and Private recreational opportunities in one place.

The Project was suggested by Marty Walsh, who serves the Fillmore County EDA, and is being developed in partnership with the County Geographic Information Systems (GIS) coordinator, Danea Murphy, as well as assistance from Graduate Students from the St. Mary’s University of Minnesota (Winona) GIS Department.

“This map will fill a void we have in our county. The map will be a great tool for our residents and visitors to enjoy recreation they may not have known existed” said Lanesboro Mayor Autumn Johnson, when discussing the value the map brings to both tourism and quality of life in the county.

As the project is developed, CEDA hopes the model can be used to highlight the recreational amenities in many of the communities that the organization serves.

CEDA HELPS SECURE $2 MILLION BROADBAND GRANT FUNDING

Article by: Megan DeRouchey

On November 21, 2017, AcenTek, the voice, video and internet provider out of Houston, MN, was awarded a $2 million grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to extend fiber broadband access to Rushford Village and the rural Rushford area. The CEDA grant writing team was able to play an instrumental role in securing this funding by drafting AcenTek’s Boarder to Boarder Broadband Grant application. CEDA utilized their grant writing services to facilitate a valuable partnership between CEDA staff members and AcenTek.

The total grant dollar amount awarded was $2,011,628.  Last year, CEDA partnered with AcenTek and was awarded $1.78 million to bring fiber-optic cable to the Lanesboro area.  To-date, the $2 million dollar grant has been the largest grant written by CEDA.

The Rushford Village/rural Rushford project was the second largest grant awarded by the state to improve broadband services. This project will allow AcenTek to extend fiber broadband services to the rural Rushford area.  AcenTek’s project is a great example of a public-private partnership–the State of Minnesota is contributing $2,011,628, Fillmore County is providing a 0% interest loan in the amount of $75,000, and AcenTek is picking up the remaining $3 million through private investment, for a total project investment of $5.2 million. This project is expected to be completed by mid-2019.

This project will serve 557 unserved and underserved homes and businesses in the Rushford Village/Rural Rushford exchange in Fillmore County.  With fiber optic cable installation, rural Rushford will see many advancements in medicine, education, and agriculture. These three industries impact nearly every home in rural Rushford and Rushford Village.