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File #: 20-0956    Version: 1
Type: Agenda Item Status: Approved
File created: 7/14/2020 In control: Board of Supervisors
On agenda: 7/21/2020 Final action: 7/21/2020
Title: Chief Administrative Office recommending the Board 1) Receive an update on efforts regarding a contract with NEO Connect for Broadband design and engineering work for high density and propriety areas of the County utilizing CAREs Act funding; 2) Provide further direction to staff regarding this Broadband design and engineering work through the use of Coronavirus Relief Funds; and 3) Receive an update on the status of the grant application to be submitted to Economic Development Administration. FUNDING: N/A
Related files: 19-1821, 18-1889, 16-0006, 18-1289, 20-0307, 20-0835, 17-0442, 18-0077, 18-0950, 20-0288
Title
Chief Administrative Office recommending the Board
1) Receive an update on efforts regarding a contract with NEO Connect for Broadband design and engineering work for high density and propriety areas of the County utilizing CAREs Act funding;
2) Provide further direction to staff regarding this Broadband design and engineering work through the use of Coronavirus Relief Funds; and
3) Receive an update on the status of the grant application to be submitted to Economic Development Administration.

FUNDING: N/A
Body
DISCUSSION / BACKGROUND
On June 30th the Board directed staff to return no later than July 21, 2020 with a contract for approximately $4.4 million for Broadband design and engineering work for high density and priority areas of the County, using funding from the County allotment of CAREs Act funding. This work would allow the County to move forward with a shovel-ready project for implementation and make the County more competitive for other grants. A contract would need to be fully executed no later than August 3, 2020 in order for the work to be completed by December 30, 2020, as required for reimbursement by the CAREs Act.

Staff is returning today to inform the Board of findings relative to the use of CAREs Act funding for this purpose, and to seek further direction.

The CARES Act legislation provides funding for a variety of different purposes and allowable uses. A portion of the CARES Act funding is designated to expand broadband services. Specifically, the Commerce Department stated “…the funds can be used for broadband deployment for purposes including supporting telehealth and remote learning for job skills." However, the Department of Treasury issued guidance documents, most recently updated on July 8, 2020, relative to the Coronavirus Relief Funds, which is a subset of the CARES Act funding, stating the expenditures to expand rural broadband capacity “would only be permissible if they are necessary for the public health emergency...

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