Kitsap PUD’s proposed $1.939 million Fiber to the Home project just missed the cut in its quest to secure a federally funded grant from the Washington State Public Works Board.
The Kitsap PUD proposal finished just outside the funding band of broadband project proposals from around the state that received conditional awards. The board awarded money for 15 broadband construction projects totaling $44.6 million in unserved and underserved communities across the state.
Applicants requested more than $90 million for 29 different projects, said Public Works broadband project manager Sheila Richardson. She said the number of requests confirms the need for broadband construction funding is high. The board approved qualified projects until all available program funds were exhausted.
The project funding announced Dec. 6 is part of the 2021 state Legislature’s infrastructure investment of the federal Coronavirus Capital Project Fund. The awards are conditional on the receipt of federal funds, Richardson said. The board will open an application cycle for $13 million in state-funded broadband construction loans in spring 2022.
The grant awards were given based on a scoring system that topped out at 88 for the Kittitas County Thorp and Edgemont FTTx Project, with a conditional award of $3.3 million in funding. Kitsap PUD’s project score was 77.2 points, 4/10s of 1 percent below that of the Town of Washtucna’s ranking of 77.6, which was the lowest-ranking project to receive conditional awards.