The cash is split into 4 predominant areas of $800,000 every, mentioned Carlton County Coordinator Dennis Genereau. About $43,500 has additionally been put aside for cities and townships with populations lower than 200, whereas one other $1.2 million will likely be held in reserve. Genereau mentioned the cash must be spent on COVID-19 associated initiatives.
The 4 areas embody small enterprise help; neighborhood help applications/public well being; neighborhood communication programs enchancment; and COVID-19 response reimbursement, infrastructure and miscellaneous neighborhood.
He defined that most of the initiatives whole greater than the quantity of CARES Act cash accessible for the departments.
“We don’t wish to ship any of the cash again,” Genereau mentioned. “We would like it to remain in Carlton County.”
The most important gadgets mentioned in the course of the assembly included a Telepresence replace for $132,000 for the Division of Well being and Human Companies; scan digitization gear for the recorder’s workplace at a value of $107,000; buying the Pictometry program for the assessor’s workplace for $300,000; and a wide range of different expertise updates and enhancements.
County Assessor Kyle Holmes mentioned the Pictometry program would permit his employees to make use of aerial images of properties and do extra work from the workplace.
The state requires that the county nonetheless assess properties in the course of the pandemic, however some residents advised Holmes they weren’t joyful that county employees had been visiting properties in-person, he mentioned. The brand new program would permit county employees to make use of aerial images offered by the software program.
The present program being utilized by the assessor’s workplace shouldn’t be as superior and doesn’t qualify for CARES Act cash, Holmes mentioned.
“It’s greater than I might usually ask for,” Holmes mentioned. “I’m solely asking as a result of there may be funding accessible.”
Commissioner Marv Bodie requested whether it is potential to pre-purchase any of the aerial images. Holmes mentioned it isn’t.
Commissioner Dick Brenner mentioned he was satisfied by Holmes’ presentation it will be within the county’s finest curiosity to buy this system.
Bodie mentioned he agreed with Brenner.
For COVID-19 response reimbursement, infrastructure and miscellaneous neighborhood, officers wish to use the funds for wage reimbursement; to buy a generator for the Group Companies Constructing in Cloquet; to improve the HVAC and digital controls on the previous Cloquet Metropolis Corridor constructing and the Carlton Transportation Constructing; to improve the Info Know-how area and loos on the previous metropolis corridor constructing; and to erect extra broadband towers, Genereau mentioned.
Dan Reed, a member of the CARES Act staff that researched broadband deficiencies, really useful the board take into account including towers to enhance web accessibility all through the county. The staff’s analysis confirmed Carlton County would want 23 extra towers to enhance accessibility. Towers value about $25,000 every.
“That is an formidable expenditure, however no person will assist us out,” Reed mentioned.
Rural areas like Automba are struggling right now as a result of a scarcity of accessible web entry or extraordinarily sluggish web, he mentioned. Including towers is one potential answer.
“The potential appears to be there,” Reed mentioned. “The financial impression could be nice. Sizzling spots are an exquisite factor, however you must have a sign.”
Mary Finnegan, financial growth director, mentioned the county has an internet speed test on its website. Officers try to find out the place the unserved and underserved areas are in Carlton County. Thus far the outcomes present that web service within the county is low, she mentioned. She urged residents to take the check.
The board will formally approve a portion of the funding at its assembly Tuesday, Sept. 8. The remaining funds will likely be authorised at later dates.