One of the more pressing problems in rural Wisconsin remains poor Internet service.
And with data usage rising and networks strained, things have gotten worse in many areas.
But some help is on the way.
On Tuesday, September 26, Dane County Board Supervisor Bob Salov is hosting an informational meeting on $751 million in new federal money going to TDS Telecommunications to boost rural broadband expansion.
The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the Dunkirk Town Hall at 654 County Highway N south of Stoughton.
“After lots of frustration I’m feeling positive about finally getting faster Internet service into our rural areas,” said Salov, who represents the villages of Cambridge, Rockdale and Deerfield along with the townships of Dunkirk, Rutland, Albion, Christiana and Deerfield as well as ward 7 of the City of Edgerton in Dane County.
Salov will be joined Tuesday by town of Vermont Plan Commission member John Hallick, who also serves on the town’s Citizen Broadband Task Force. Hallick will speak about rural broadband access, partnering with providers, available grants and other potential funding for local governments. “There’s a lot of good things happening and we want to make sure everyone understands what the next steps will be,” he said.
In January, TDS announced it will receive approximately $75.1 million a year for the next 10 years from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Alternative Connect America Cost Model. TDS will leverage the funds to expand and improve broadband service to nearly 160,000 homes in 25 states, including Wisconsin, over that time frame. Funding for the program, also referred to as the Connect America Fund (CAF), will support the build out of rural broadband networks. Depending on location, most TDS customers in rural areas eligible for CAF funding will receive guaranteed broadband speeds of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. Most of the remaining customers will receive speeds of 10/1 Mbps.
The Dane County Board has long urged expansion of rural broadband and in 2015 passed a resolution urging state and federal officials to move forward with badly needed funding. Wisconsin has been something of a laggard in extending high-speed Internet into rural areas after it turned down $23 million in federal stimulus money in 2011. But the new federal monies are a major step forward, Salov said.
“”We are at a critical point when broadband is no longer a luxury but a necessity and a public utility,” he said. “Rural businesses and households cannot function without it.”
The meeting Tuesday is open to the public but Salov is asking that interested parties contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
a City of Verona workshop on September 14th at 7:00pm.
The City of Verona is hosting a land planning design workshop for the Common Council, Plan Commission, and citizens to obtain input and feedback on design ideas for development in the portions of North Neighborhood Plan (the general area south of Highway PD, east of Northern Lights and West of Hwy M).
There’s more information about the event (including a map of the area to be discussed) in the attached document.
This meeting will be a joint meeting with the Town Board and will be a sort of workshop format for them to discuss policy issues. While some current development proposals may be discussed in the context of larger policies, no site specific decisions will be made, and there will be no public hearings for specific projects.
I know many of you are interested in some projects currently under consideration so wanted to give you an updated Plan Commission timeline for each. Please note that these schedules are subject to change. All Plan Commission decisions are advisory to the Town Board and all Town Board decisions are then acted upon by Dane County.
September 14th – general land planning discussion for Plan Commission and Board
September 21st – information presentation on “Driftless Ridge” on Shady Oak Road and information presentation on “Fox Hill” on Midtown Road.
October 5th – Plan Commission work session on comprehensive plan
October 19th – Potential public hearings on “Deer Haven” on Sunset Drive, and “Driftless Ridge” and “Fox Hill”.
Please feel free to contact Amanda Arnold at 807-4460 if you have questions about any of these proposals. Images of the conceptual layouts of the developments can be found here:
Please take notice that the Town Board of Verona enacted Ordinance 2017-04, regulating new and replacement lighting, at their regular meeting held on September 5, 2017.
The purpose and intent of this Ordinance is to promote the preservation of dark skies over the Town of Verona and to protect the view of the night sky for the enjoyment of its citizens without compromising safety, utility, security, productivity, enjoyment, or commerce.
This Ordinance does not apply to existing lighting fixtures, emergency lighting, temporary lighting, vehicular lighting, or to lighting on wheeled farm machines.
Penalties for violations are prescribed in the Fee Schedule for Chapter 16. The Town Building Inspector and Town Board are authorized to enforce the provisions of this Ordinance.
The full text of Ordinance 2017-04 may be obtained by clicking on the link below.
Neff Cycle is hosting one day of this three-day event sanctioned by USA Cycling at the Badger Prairie Park cyclocross trail located within the Badger Prairie Park operated by Dane County Parks. Beer sales will be conducted by volunteers from Hop Garden of Paoli. The public is welcome to attend; there is no admission fee for spectators.
This year Heartland is offering FREE admission to the Barn Dance!
Enjoy tasty bites, local Ale Asylum beer and other refreshments, plus LIVE music from the fantastic Dimestore Duo!
Before you hit the dance floor, take a barn tour to visit the 70+ rescued farm animals who call Heartland home.
You’ll also have the opportunity to meet Heartland’s new Executive Director, Jen Korz!
We hope you’re able to join Heartland Farm Sanctuary for this exciting & casual family-friendly event!
To RSVP, please email Jamie.Monroe@HeartlandFarmSanctuary.org.