Medina County Fiber Network and ARPA grants 10/26/21
Updated: Apr 8, 2022
As you all know, getting better internet service in Litchfield Township has been an issue for years. While there are several small providers like Frontier and GLW, none of the big companies like Armstrong were willing to spend the millions of dollars necessary to run high-speed fiber to our area. Six months ago, Dave Corrado, CEO of Medina County Fiber Network, came to a Litchfield Trustee meeting and said that there were no investors and no federal or state money available to make this feasible.
Then we were recently awarded $358,000 in a federal COVID relief American Rescue Plan (ARPA) grant, and high-speed internet is finally a possibility for Litchfield and 5 other small townships near us. What makes this possible, though, is that Medina County has allocated $5.5 million of their own grant award toward this project.
Litchfield Township Fiscal Officer Pam Shaw, Trustee Chuck Reynolds and I attended a meeting last Thursday, October 14 run by Mr. Corrado and Medina County Commissioner Steve Hambley at the Chatham Town Hall. They laid out the next steps for Litchfield and the five other townships before the installation of high-fiber internet can happen, all of which are the responsibility of Medina County and the Medina County Fiber Network:
The attorneys for both of these entities must clarify the regulations for the use of this grant money.
They must also prove that this is a valid use of the grant money.
Last, Medina County Fiber Network must hire contractors and subcontractors who follow these regulations.
Mr. Corrado stated that he expects all legal issues to be clarified within the next 30 days.
In the meantime, this Thursday, October 28, there is a meeting between Medina County, Medina County Fiber Network and LMRE to create a binding commitment to this project. Once I know the outcome, I will pass the info on to you.
Then, once all these steps are accomplished, Litchfield Township Trustees can pass resolutions to join the network and allocate the $137,522 of ARPA money towards bringing high-speed fiber to Litchfield. It will be a few months still before everything is in place, but I think we all agree that it’s great news for our community.
I will keep you informed as events progress. In the meantime, feel free to call me at (330) 591-5397 with any questions. And you are always welcome to attend any Trustee meeting; we meet the fourth Monday of every month at 6 pm in the Litchfield Town Hall.
Stay tuned for more info soon!