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Arvig moving forward with broadband project in Prinsburg, Minnesota, funded partially by coronavirus relief funds

A high-speed broadband project in Prinsburg is officially moving forward. Arvig will by laying 8 miles of fiber to create the network for the project. Funding for the project is coming from Arvig, the city of Prinsburg and Kandiyohi County, including using American Rescue Plan money.

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The high speed broadband project by Arvig in Prinsburg is officially moving forward. Construction is set to begin next year and funding is partially coming from the American Rescue Plan Act. (Stock art)
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PRINSBURG — Approximately 500 residents of Prinsburg will soon have the option of purchasing high-speed broadband services. Following the construction of an 8.1-mile fiber network, the city will have access to speeds reaching one gigabit for residents and 10 gigabits for businesses.

"Arvig is committed to bringing the highest quality broadband services to rural communities like Prinsburg," said Mark Birkholz, director of customer operations and southern markets at Arvig, in a news release announcing the project. Arvig is the company constructing and operating the network. "This fiber network will reliably serve homes and businesses with the speeds they need for work, daily life and outpacing most areas in our highly connected world."

According to the news release, work is scheduled to begin no later than Aug. 1, 2022, and be finished by the end of 2022.

Helping fund the project are American Rescue Plan Act funds from both the city of Prinsburg and Kandiyohi County . The project's total cost is around $1 million.

The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners , in September, approved using $330,000 of its American Rescue Plan Act allocation toward the project. Prinsburg will be using $45,000 of its American Rescue Plan money for the project in addition to bonding for $175,000.

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The remaining balance, beyond the $550,000 in total from the city and county, will be funded by Arvig.

"One of Arvig's biggest priorities is reaching unserved and underserved communities across Minnesota," Birkholz said. "It is our privilege to leverage this partnership with the city of Prinsburg and Kandiyohi County to expand broadband access and give residents an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of high speed internet."

At the Dec. 2 County Board meeting, the commissioners gave County Administrator Larry Kleindl the authority to sign an agreement between the city and county for the project. Called a subaward agreement, it outlines all the rules, regulations and reporting responsibilities tied to using county American Rescue Plan dollars to fund the project.

"Each of these documents will be over 100 pages," Kleindl said.

All of the broadband projects for which the County Board has approved use of American Rescue Plan funding will require a subaward agreement for American Rescue Plan reporting purposes. Currently, the board has approved five projects.

"You are not authorizing me to sign anything that hasn't already been approved," Kleindl said. The County Board will always approve spending the money on a project before Kleindl signs any agreement.

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


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