Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg traveled to Bloomfield last week to meet with DCDC Director John Schroeder, Superintendent Dan Maeder, and Citizens Mutual General Manager Joe Snyder to discuss Davis County’s broadband services.
Schroeder emphasized the value of Citizens Mutual’s high-speed internet in bringing young professionals to the community who work online.
He particularly mentioned one young couple who moved to Bloomfield after checking out the community on the internet. (The husband’s father was also a physician in Bloomfield at one time.)
The couple enjoy living in the Midwest rather than on the coast, and both are able to work online.
And, as Gregg noted, “The quality of life is twice as good at half the price. Housing at affordable prices is important. You can have a nice home in rural Iowa for much less than Chicago or Los Angeles.”
Maeder began his presentation by thanking the Lt. Gov. for his and Gov. Reynolds’ leadership during the pandemic.
“As a National Guard member, I spent time at the Joint Operations Center (this summer), and I was impressed from the get-go with the leadership of the Governor and her staff during the pandemic.
“From the school’s perspective,” he said, “we’re blessed to have CMTEL provide the services they do.”
Maeder said CMTEL has made it possible to meet virtually with every student, and many places in the state don’t have that capability.
“With the support from the state and CMTEL, we were able to overcome 95% of our (online) challenges,” Maeder said.
Gregg said he has made broadband access a priority for a couple of years, and when the CARES Act came along, the state was able to donate $50 million from that money to broadband access.
“2020 has been a good year for broadband,” Gregg said. “It provided us with telehealth and educational services. We appreciate local companies (such as CMTEL) and their leadership in developing entire counties,” he said.
Schroeder ended the visit by complimenting the state for starting the Homes for Iowa project. (Bloomfield will soon be getting two of these homes.) “This brings the opportunity to own a home into a range where local folks can afford it,” he said.
Gregg said the program, which is based at Prison Industries in Newton, helps with rural housing, workforce, and gives prison workers a second chance. “This is a rare win-win scenario,” he said. “This has been very effective in driving rural housing development.”