SW Iowa Times

SW Iowa Times

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Reynolds presented with rural housing, broadband fixes

Local Government

By Cristina Brooks | Jan 17, 2020

Reynolds
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds | Facebook

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is sifting through advice from her rural development initiative on improving Iowa’s rural housing and broadband links.

The governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative made recommendations regarding housing which were published on Dec. 18, 2019. In addition to other suggestions, it wanted to ease rural access to derelict buildings and existing housing programs that see a lot of demand. The initiative aimed to extend a series of grants made by the state legislature in its last session, such as Rural Innovation Grants and Rural Housing Assessment Grants.

Regarding broadband, the initiative suggested boosting connectivity through more funding for projects. For example, the governor could increase the state matching funding for projects to improve broadband speed and service. The initiative also suggested updating broadband maps and continuing Rural Innovation Grants.

The initiative recommended a matching grant program to train rural leaders. Funding for rural leadership should be set aside within other programs, such as Enhance Iowa and Iowa Great Places, the initiative stated.

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