What Winthrop is working on: “The RS Fiber Cooperative plans to build a gigabit enabled Active Ethernet fiber to the home/ farm/business area in a 650 square mile area in West Central Minnesota. Ten city councils and 17 township board in the project footprint have formed a Joint Powers Agency with plans to sell a $13.7 million tax obligated abatement bond. The agency would then lend the bond proceeds to the cooperative as an economic development loan.
Using those funds as a down payment for the $55 million project, the cooperative will access guaranteed loans from the USDA and HUD, as well as loan participation from a consortium of local banks to fund the project.
In addition, RS Fiber will become a US-Ignite Community to help foster economic development in the area. Application development will focus on education, health care, senior citizens and ag production.”
It is hoped financing for the project will be in place by the spring of 2015 with construction work to begin later that year.