Broadband Information Meeting August 31

The Port of Columbia will hold a Zoom meeting on Monday, August 31 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm to share information about their proposed broadband project in the City of Dayton and some adjacent outlying areas. Attendees will be able to ask questions, and will also be asked to fill out a short survey regarding their current service.

The Port contracted with PocketiNet, a Walla Walla-based company, to conduct a broadband feasibility study that was completed in February of this year.

“Port Commissioners hoped to be able to hold a public meeting to share information about the study in person, but the pandemic has made that impossible,” stated Jennie Dickinson, executive director of the Port of Columbia.

In addition to hearing a presentation on the Port’s proposed project, attendees will hear from Scott Hutsell, a Lincoln County Commissioner who also serves as the chair of the Public Works Board, a state funding agency that provides infrastructure funds to communities; Diana Ruchert, the manager of the Port of Garfield where a community broadband project is currently under construction; and Steve Mantle of Innov8 Ag Solutions who will speak to some of the ways the agricultural industry is using broadband to improve production.

The attendee survey will be available during the Zoom meeting via a link in the chat room, but can also be taken ahead of time by clicking here.

Click here to view meeting agenda. To join the Broadband Information Meeting via Zoom, go to www.bit.ly/PortZoom just prior to 6:00 pm on August 31 or you can join by phone by calling 315-813-7229 then entering the PIN: ‪229 898 120#.

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Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant Recipients Announced

After 7 weeks of waiting, the Department of Commerce finally announced the recipients of the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program for Columbia County. Columbia County had 31 businesses apply, and 25 were awarded funds by the Governor’s office and the Department of Commerce. State lottery proceeds from the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund were used for the program. No Port of Columbia funds were used, and the Port declined using any of the funds for administration so that all monies would be available to businesses. We are working on the creation of a second, local grant fund in order to provide more assistance to those businesses still hurting from the COVID shutdown.

Casting caution: Rural business owners ask boaters and fishers to respect guidelines

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