The Nisqually Indian Tribe will receive a $50,000 grant from the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board for its Nisqually Broadband Regional Feasibility Project.

The grant was among $660,000 allocated by the board to eight Washington counties.

“This study will review the potential viability of a fiber-optic Open Access Network (OPN) in the Thurston County towns of Roy, Yelm and McKenna and surrounding areas,” according to a press release from the board. “CERB funds are matched by $16,667 in local resources.

CERB’s $252,000 in loans and $409,000 in grants are aimed at facilitating economic development, public infrastructure development and economic feasibility studies targeting business growth, job creation and rural broadband development, according to the release.

“CERB projects represent an important partnership between the state and local communities resulting in enhanced economic vitality. The Board is pleased to collaborate with each of these communities to help with planning for future economic development,” said CERB Chair Randy Hayden.

Dr. Lisa Brown, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce, said

“Partnering with local leaders, CERB is a frontline resource for community infrastructure projects and strengthening regional economies. The emphasis on planning for broadband in this round of grants is especially important for business expansion and educational and healthcare equity across Washington state.”

The release of CERB funds to these projects is contingent upon each applicant completing specific pre-contract requirements, such as finalizing other funding sources and obtaining necessary permits.

Since 1982, CERB has committed nearly $176 million to local jurisdictions across the state, an investment generating more than 36,000 jobs, and private capital investment of a $5.7 billion ($36 to $1) return on CERB investment, according to the press release.

Learn more about CERB at www.commerce.wa.gov/cerb.

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