(The Center Square) – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced $34.6 million in grants to 15 Minnesota cities and counties statewide from the Small Cities Coronavirus Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG).
As part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Minnesota received a special allocation to address community needs to prevent, prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly $32.2 million will be used for broadband improvement projects.
Other uses of this funding will include housing assistance, food shelf assistance, retrofitting buildings, and commercial rehabilitation projects.
“The pandemic has made clear how vital broadband is to the lives of Minnesotans and to the economic vitality of our state,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement. “These grants will help communities fund broadband and other important projects as we write the next chapter of our economy.”
Applications were rated according to need, impact, and cost-effectiveness. Funds are intended for local-focused projects used primarily by low-and-moderate income residents.
The following 15 cities and counties received CDBG grants:
Aitkin County, $4.8 million: Broadband improvement
Appleton, $3.6 million: Broadband improvement and commercial rehabilitation
Benson, $678,000: Retrofitting buildings
Bemidji, $600,000: Retrofitting buildings
Bloomington, $154,430: Housing assistance and food shelf assistance
Ceylon, $983,105: Broadband improvement
Crow Wing County, $4.4 million: Broadband improvement
Dodge Center, $3.1 million: Broadband improvement
Faribault County, $2.8 million: Broadband improvement
Harmony, $2.2 million: Broadband improvement
Madison, $2.5 million: Broadband improvement
City of Slayton/Murray County, $2.8 million: Broadband improvement
Pine County, $3.7 million: Broadband improvement and retrofitting buildings
Redwood County, $1.7 million: Broadband improvement
Wabasha, $107,350: Commercial rehabilitation