Over $34.6 Million awarded in small cities coronavirus funding

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) today announced $34,656,956 in grants to 15 Minnesota cities and counties across the state from the Small Cities Coronavirus Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG-CV).

As part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Minnesota received a special allocation to address community needs to prevent, prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most of the funding – nearly $32.2 million – will be used for broadband improvement projects. Projects under CDBG-CV are not associated with the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program managed by the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development.

Other uses of this funding will include housing assistance, food shelf assistance, retrofitting buildings and commercial rehabilitation projects. These uses were determined through an open community input process and approved by the Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD).

“The pandemic has made clear how vital broadband is to the lives of Minnesotans and to the economic vitality of our state,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “These grants will help communities fund broadband and other important projects as we write the next chapter of our economy.”

Applications were rated according to need, impact, and cost-effectiveness. Funds are intended for projects that are focused on the locality and that will be used primarily for low-and-moderate income residents. You can find out more about CDBG grants on the DEED website.

The following cities and counties in our area received CDBG grants:

City of Dodge Center, $3,142,747
Broadband improvement

Faribault County, $2,886,206
Broadband improvement

City of Harmony, $2,245,849
Broadband improvement

City of Wabasha, $107,350
Commercial rehabilitation