Jefferson County Board builds broadband group

Broadband internet connection in rural parts of Jefferson County has become a focus for the Jefferson County Board.

The board voted at its March 12 meeting to assemble a broadband working group to focus on improving broadband internet connection and speed in rural areas of Jefferson County.

“That’s really important for economic development because now people can run highly sophisticated businesses out of their home, and they may prefer to live in a rural area because of the amenities we have out here,” Board Chairman Jim Schroeder said.

“That would be a big boost for us economically,” he said. “It’s something we’ve been talking about for a long time.”

The group will be made up of five members of the board appointed by Chairman Jim Schroeder. Amy Rinard of Ixonia is one of those supervisors selected to serve on the group. She said at the meeting she is motivated by the topic because she has experienced the issue herself.

“Even though I live about six miles west of the City of Oconomowoc, in Waukesha County, where people expect that they’re going to have wonderful broadband access – and they do – once you get across the line into Jefferson County, it’s a whole different story,” she said.

Rinard mentioned area children needing internet for their homework and education and added that it could also increase property values with higher quality internet available.

County Facilities to get upgrades

The board is giving two county properties an upgrade in equipment.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will receive a new storage shed to be built at the County Sheriff’s Office Training Facility in Lake Mills. The County Board accepted a bid from Bos Design Builders in Fort Atkinson for a project not to exceed $71,000.

The County Board will also replace a pair of boilers at the Human Services Workforce Development Building for just over $50,000.

Barb Frank honored for service

After 35 years as county clerk, Barb Frank was honored at the meeting for her service to the county.

Frank said that despite the occasional stressful day, there was “no better place to be” an employee and  that she appreciated her coworkers. Frank’s term will end after the Spring elections.

Jefferson County to fight child neglect in April

A proclamation at the meeting deemed April 2019 in Jefferson County as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.

The county will sell t-shirts and lead other projects to help increase awareness on the topic during the month of April.

“We have a number of employees of our Human Services Department who care deeply about that issue,” Schroeder said. “That’s a topic that’s near to my heart as well. One of the main reasons why I do this is for children.”

The next Jefferson County Board meeting takes place Tuesday, April 19 at 5 p.m. The meeting is on a different day because of the Spring elections.

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