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Okanogan County PUD commissioners approved an application for a broadband expansion grant that, if awarded, would build direct fiber to homes and businesses in Twisp, Pateros and Conconully.

The application is due Jan. 17 to the Washington State Broadband Office (WSBO). The $11.6 million project would cover the costs of fiber connections. Those residents who decide to take internet services would then need to connect with retail providers for a service plan.

WSBO intends to release their list of awardees in late February. This is the sixth broadband-related grant application Okanogan PUD has pursued through various agencies.

In other business Jan. 9:

  • Commissioner Jerry Asmussen took his oath of office after being re-elected this past November. He was also named board president again, with Commissioner Scott Vejraska serving as vice president and Commissioner Bill Colyar as secretary.
  • The annual tree trimming contract was awarded to Asplundh Tree Expert Co., not to exceed $800,000 for the year.
  • Commissioners and staff discussed state legislative topics to be addressed this session, which also began Jan. 9. Among top areas of interest and concern are wildfire mitigation, clean energy, hydrogen and other energy-related technological advances, and more.
  • A surplus of old and obsolete broadband department items was approved.

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