September 2021 - Funding Updates

 09/15/2021 -  WCCBP -  ~2 Minutes

We wanted to share a few quick updates with you as to where grant funding is. The quick recap is that great progress is being made in Mason County, and we now need to let the approvals take place. We will shift all of our remaining energy on Jefferson County, which still needs our support!

Mason County - Phase 1 and 2

In August, Mason County Commission funded Phase One of the west Hood Canal broadband build-out, which is Eldon (Hama Hama) up to Mike’s Beach Resort (including the Colony Surf (CS) community). Construction will happen in 2022, with more details available soon. In Eldon, the expansion will happen at the same time Mason PUD 1 is rebuilding the water system. Colony Surf though begin in January after Mason PUD 1 rebuilds the underground power line.

The Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) invited Mason PUD 1 and Hood Canal Communications (HCC) to present their request for funding of phase two Thursday, 9/16/21. This extends from Mike’s Beach Resort to the Mason/Jefferson county line. We are assuming from experience and input from other agency personnel that getting invited to present is a very, very good sign for funding.

Given that the CERB grant is being formally reviewed, we ask that no one contact their office or the Mason PUD 1 offices until a decision is made. As one of our co-chairs puts it, “…it’s now in the lap of the Gods, we have done all we can…”

As soon as we hear about the CERB meeting and the outcome we will let you all know.

Jefferson County - Phase 3

The State Broadband Office (SBO) chose HCC’s application and moved it forward to the federal level. The SBO director, who joined our broadband community meeting in August, said before he left our meeting, that if HCC is not funded this round, they’d likely be funded next round.

We do not have a date for review yet, but we need your help continuing to write Senators Murray, Cantwell, and Representative Kilmer and asking for support.

See a sample letter

Thanks and Recognition

We want to thank Mason PUD 1 for partnering with HCC to apply for these broadband deployment grants. For you folks in Mason County we want you to know that county commissioner Kevin Shutty has gone beyond the call to work on this funding. Respectfully, he has had to do some real work with the other two commissioners to get this lined up. Thanks Kevin.