The Jefferson County Board unanimously approved to expand broadband Internet infrastructure in rural areas of Jefferson County at the Jefferson County Courthouse March 12.

Some areas of Jefferson County have quality broadband access, while rural areas significantly lack broadband access.

Some areas throughout the county have dead Internet access.

County Supervisor Amy Rinard said expanding broadband access throughout Jefferson County gives it more flexibility for individuals and the economy.

“It’s an economic development issue, it’s education,” Rinard said. “Children nowadays do all their homework on the Internet. So we really believe having access to broadband Internet is an economic development tool and helps increase property values and makes Jefferson County a more desirable place to live.”

The approved Broadband Working Group will feature between five to seven members appointed by the County Board Chair.

Chairman Jim Schroeder said with current technology innovating rapidly, expanding broadband infrastructure was necessary.

“If we can provide the opportunities for those people who choose to live in the rural areas that they can get the same level of broadband service as someone in the big city can, that would be a big boost for us economically,” Schroeder said. “It’s something we’ve been talking about for a long time.”

The Broadband Working Group will disband at the end of the 2018-2020 County Board term.

End of the road for County Clerk Barbara Frank

County Clerk Barbara Frank announced her retirement from the board after 22 years.

The board celebrated Frank’s retirement with a small roast. The board and those in attendance were offered a slice of cake and bottled water after the roast.

“I’ve been at 292 county board meetings, and I’m glad to say this is my last one,” Frank said. “It’s a wonderful place to work and I couldn’t think of a better place to be.”

Schroeder and County Administrator Ben Wehmeier gave roast speeches celebrating Frank’s career.

“Whereas Barbara A. Frank taught us the two more important ‘R’ words: recounts and recall,” Schroeder said.

Frank concluded her speech by asking the board if it had any questions for her. Nobody spoke up, and Frank sarcastically responded, “perfect.”

Other approvals

In addition to the board unanimously voting in favor of broadband expansion, the board also unanimously approved to construct a post frame storage building at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Training Facility in Lake Mills. Bos Design Builders developed a bid of $70, 495 to help build the post frame storage building. Bos was the lowest responsible bidder for the project.

The board also voted 28-0 in support to accept bids to replace two boilers at the Human Services Workforce Development Building. The board accepted Sun Mechanical, LLC’s $50,500 lowest bid to replace the boilers.

The final proclamation saw April 2019 be officially declared Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month by Schroeder. The proclamation ended in a 28-0 favored vote.

“That [child abuse] is a topic that’s dear to my heart,” Schroeder said. “We have a number of employees of our Human Services Department who care deeply about that issue, and so they ask us to do that proclamation and then they sell t-shirts and some other things to raise some money to increase awareness of child abuse.”

The board’s next meeting takes place on Tuesday, April 16 at the Jefferson County Courthouse.

Posted by Tyler Job, filed under Uncategorized. Date: March 19, 2019, 9:55 pm | No Comments »