Congressman Cleaver Applauds $7.5 Million Grant For Rural Broadband Expansion in Saline County
(Kansas City, MO) – Today, United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) applauded the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) allocation of $7.5 million to Saline County to expand broadband access. The investment is part of $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program through the USDA, which is aimed at expanding broadband access and connectivity in rural areas. In March, Congressman Cleaver delivered a letter in support of the Saline County Commission’s ReConnect grant application.
“Now, more than ever, access to dependable broadband internet is vital for rural communities,” said Congressman Cleaver. “The economic success and growth of these communities depend on this critical access, which is why I was happy to join in supporting the Saline County Commission’s recent grant application submitted to the USDA. Today, I am thrilled to report that the federal government has announced a seven and a half-million-dollar grant to the Saline County Commission. With this funding, approximately ninety percent of Saline County will have access to quality broadband internet—opening the doors to greater economic growth and providing an undeniably crucial resource to many individuals and families at a time when so many aspects of our lives are being conducted online. While I celebrate this momentous step, I am recommitted to working towards expanding broadband infrastructure to all of the rural communities that I serve.”
“I want to thank our state and federal legislators for all of their support in obtaining this grant from the USDA,” said Stephanie Gooden, Saline County Commissioner. “Receiving this grant for Saline County will help move our county into the 21st-century when this year has proven that we need connectivity more than ever. Not only for distance learning for students but also in agriculture. I’m so happy on behalf of Saline County that Marshall Municipal Utilities is able to receive the USDA ReConnect grant, I’m thankful for the team, and I’m looking forward to implementing broadband throughout Saline County!”
“We would like to thank USDA Rural Development, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, the Saline County Commission and everyone else who supported us in this endeavor,” said Jeff Bergstrom, General Manager of Marshall Municipal Utilities. “With the current COVID-19 environment, there has been a spotlight put on distance work and learning. The ReConnect grants will give 90% of rural Saline County broadband internet access and allow for our students and workers to weather these types of storms in the future.”
The grant will be used by Marshall Municipal Utilities to support the expansion of broadband infrastructure, which will connect 3,890 people, 433 farms, 63 businesses, two public schools, a fire station, and a post office to high-speed broadband internet in Saline County, Missouri.
Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Haydin Brady at 202-538-4326 or Haydin.Brady@mail.house.gov