By Leah Craig
Local leaders and representatives from Surf Broadband Solutions joined with Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin on Monday to cut the ribbon on a partnership that will provide high speed internet access to almost 300 households in rural Cohoctah Township.
In a nonpartisan effort, the 8th District Democrat advocated that funds from the American Rescue Plan go directly to local projects, where community leaders would be able to determine community priorities. As a result, Surf Broadband has partnered with Cohoctah Township to provide internet access to the rural community.
Cohoctah Township is one of Livingston County’s largest farming communities with roughly 1,200 households. However, it’s estimated that one in 10 Livingston County households lacks adequate high-speed broadband, a detriment to small businesses and students who rely on internet access.
Slotkin noted that in the modern age, internet access is a necessity, a utility crucial to community development. Thanks to her advocacy, $349,000 in funding is headed to Cohoctah homes, businesses, and residents in the form of high-speed broadband.
Mark Fosdick, Cohoctah Township Supervisor expressed gratitude towards Surf Broadband for the partnership, and to Representative Slotkin for her advocacy, citing these efforts as a way to build and bolster the unserved and underserved parts of the township.”
Gene Crusie, CEO of Surf Broadband Solutions called the effort “transformational for the community”, stating that “this is a great example of a public-private partnership where taxpayer dollars and a private business came together to solve a need and we were able to address the needs of about 280 of the township residents.”
“It’s a great example of what federal dollars can do at the local level when they’re put toward common purpose,” Slotkin said. She went on to add that while she and local leaders don’t agree on everything, community needs ultimately triumphed over partisan politics.