September 8, 2016


Lafayette County Development Corporation Receives Rural Broadband Expansion Grant


MADISON, WI — State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) is pleased to announce that the Lafayette Development Corporation partnered with ComElec Internet Services, LLC, the City of Darlington, Lafayette County and the Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission have received a Rural Broadband Expansion Grant for $86,086 to expand broadband access in Lafayette County.

“In early 2016, I hosted meetings in Fennimore and Darlington to connect the PSC Broadband office with communities in counties of the 17th Senate District with limited access to consistent internet service,” Marklein said. “I am proud that the meeting in Darlington inspired several community leaders to collaborate on a successful grant application.”

Luis Lopez, Executive Director of the Lafayette Development Corporation led a team to bring broadband to seven underserved and unserved areas in Lafayette County.  The total project cost is $430,420 and the grant program will provide $86,086.  Approximately 80% of the project cost will be funded by local dollars from the EDC, Lafayette County, the City of Darlington, SWRPC and ComElec.

The Lafayette County project may be slightly amended due to a 50% grant award, but the application lists the installation of towers in Blanchardville, Darlington, Gratiot, the Platteville Mound, Schuberts grain tower, South Wayne and Wiota. Among these locations, 3,098 households, 292 existing businesses and 174 potential business sites will be reached. 

“The Lafayette County project has amazing potential impact and a lot of ‘bang for our buck’,” Marklein said. “This is exactly the type of project for which the grant program was designed.”

“If your community needs connections or support to improve broadband access, please contact my office,” Marklein said. “We will work to provide you with contacts and connections to help you assess your needs, determine your opportunities, share best practices and connect with the partners who can help you move forward.”