A proposal from County Warden and Mississippi Mills Mayor Christa Lowry to provide funding to households in need for internet service installations received an enthusiastic response from the economic development committee. The Connect Lanark Broadband project would provide up to $2K per household to cover the installation fees and would be managed by the county’s social services department. County CAO Kurt Greaves noted that repeated stay at home orders, school closures and working from home have made high speed internet more essential than ever. And that by improving access, Lanark County would be helping families with education, employment, and healthcare access.
The program would mirror other county assistance plans in terms of maximum household incomes and liquid asset values and would have a total budget of $125K. When asked what would happen if more applicants came forward than the budget would cover, Greaves replied applications would be handled on a first come first served basis and he would be happy to come back to council for consideration of more money.
The motion to provide committee approval and move it forward to the next full council session was carried.