Telecom committee will visit
In an effort to give legislators working on telecommunications policy a clear picture of telecom issues facing northern Minnesota residents, State Rep. Brita Sailer (DFL-Park Rapids) has invited the House Telecommunications and Infrastructure Fin...
In an effort to give legislators working on telecommunications policy a clear picture of telecom issues facing northern Minnesota residents, State Rep. Brita Sailer (DFL-Park Rapids) has invited the House Telecommunications and Infrastructure Finance Division up north for an entire day.
"We always talk about making sure northern Minnesota can compete - economically, educationally and financially," said Sailer, a member of the House committee. "Part of creating that competitive edge is to ensure we're all on an even playing field. While some parts of the district have fantastic telecom access, others who live outside municipal boundaries, or the end of the road, are often left wanting."
The visit, scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 18, will begin with a private tour for committee members to the Arvig Communications Systems (ACS) facility in Park Rapids.
Following the tour, the committee will hear from area businesses, local government officials and individuals at the Hubbard Courthouse in Park Rapids from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
From there, the legislators will travel to Douglas Lodge in Itasca Park where, from 2 to 3:15 p.m., they will hear from Emergency Management Services, law enforcement and other local and state government staff discussing communications issues that are affecting their ability to provide services to area residents.
The last stop will be at the Clearwater County Courthouse in Bagley for another public hearing from 4 to 6 p.m.
"This is an important issue for our rural district," said Sailer. "I was so pleased when the chair of the committee, state Rep. Sheldon Johnson, expressed an interest in our needs. I'm hoping that seeing the situation firsthand and hearing directly from residents will give my legislative colleagues a clear picture of just what those needs are, and give us a framework for any legislative action that might be needed."
Sailer continued, "These sessions are designed to give individuals and businesses in this area a chance to talk about things that work well, in addition to challenges they face with telecommunications infrastructure concerns."
The public is invited to bring their concerns before the committee at each of the hearings, Sailer said, adding she hopes they'll take advantage of the opportunity.
For more information or to sign up to speak, contact Sailer at 800-920-5867 or 651-296-4265 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For audio on this topic, contact Catherine Thompson, radio/television coordinator, at
email@example.com or 651-296-5499.