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Posted on: January 31, 2017

Osawatomie receives $45,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant to develop broadband plan

The City of Osawatomie has been awarded a $45,000 Grant from Project 17, a regional economic development initiative, to assist the community in developing a broadband implementation plan.  This grant is funded by the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration from federal funds awarded to Project 17 to increase the availability of accessible, reliable, and affordable broadband services to the region. 

Heather Morgan, Executive Director of Project 17 made the announcement Saturday morning during the annual Osawatomie legislative breakfast.  She thanked city leadership for its thoughtful plan development, and the partnership they have developed with the Kansas Fiber Network, who has made significant investments from private dollars in improving the broadband infrastructure all across southeast Kansas.

“This project is a continuation of our efforts to restore and expand the infrastructure of Osawatomie to make our community attractive to businesses that will bring jobs and vitality,” Osawatomie Mayor Mark Govea said.

Osawatomie City Manager Don Cawby said the grant is significant since the community currently lacks the necessary bandwidth speed to compete with providers in some of the more urbanized communities in the Kansas City-metro area. The installation of a broadband network in Osawatomie would provide opportunities for growth and economic development for the city as well as its residents, Cawby said.

The city began laying the groundwork for implementing a broadband plan in December 2015 when the Osawatomie City Council approved a franchise agreement with Kansas Fiber Network, granting use of the city’s right of way for its network.

Morgan said, Project 17 looks forward to working with the City of Osawatomie and Kansas Fiber Network to involve the business community to begin developing plans that will ensure Miami County and the City of Osawatomie have the broadband access needed to compete in the global economy and grow jobs.

For more information contact:  Heather Morgan, hmorgan@twsproject17.org or Don Cawby, DCawby@osawatomieks.org.

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City of Osawatomie 439 Main St. Osawatomie, KS 66064 Ph: 913-755-2146 Fx: 913-755-4164