Kuster Joins Lebanon City Officials To Announce Critical Broadband Project, Discuss Support for Community Services
**The American Rescue Plan, backed by Kuster, delivered $1,430,000 for the City of Lebanon**
Washington, January 31, 2022
**The full discussion is available HERE**
**Projects include assistance for businesses, investments in child care, and improved water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure**
Lebanon, N.H. — Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Rural Broadband Task Force, met with Lebanon City officials to announce a new critical broadband project in the city. The new broadband project, which will utilize $60,000 in American Rescue Plan Funds along with $535,000 from Comcast, will extend broadband to the remaining 142 homes in the City that do not have internet service. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. The group also discussed $152,000 in American Rescue Plan resources to support the Regional Child Care Initiative and $49,776 in ARPA funding to the Upper Valley Business Alliance to provide business assistance.
“The American Rescue Plan is some of the most consequential legislation I have voted for during my time in Congress. I am thrilled resources from this package are heading to Lebanon to help ensure every Granite Stater has access to quality broadband and affordable child care,” said Rep. Kuster. “The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of investing in our local communities so families can get back to work and our economy can continue moving forward. I was proud to advocate for our communities throughout New Hampshire in this relief package and look forward to the positive impact of these projects in the years to come.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for broadband internet service in every home in the City,” said Shaun Mulholland, Lebanon City Manager. “The need for students to participate in remote learning resulted in connectivity issues for the 142 homes in the City that presently do not have broadband internet service. The need for internet service for telehealth and remote work became clear. The City will be utilizing ARPA funds in partnership with Comcast to provide broadband internet service to all 142 homes presently without service in the City by the end of 2022.”
Mulholland continued, “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound negative impact on parents who need childcare services starting March of 2020 and continuing today. Some childcare facilities closed while others reduced hours and capacity due to staffing shortages. The cost is considerable and for those parents able to find childcare, many cannot afford the cost. This has resulted in some parents either not returning or entering the workforce. The childcare crisis has impacted women disproportionately. The childcare crisis has added to the shortage of workers crisis in the Upper Valley. The City is working with Vital Communities, the Upper Valley Municipal Managers, the Corporate Council, the Couch Foundation, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Dartmouth College and the Early Childhood Education Association to develop solutions to the present childcare crisis.”
Rep. Kuster was a key supporter of the American Rescue Plan and helped get the essential COVID-19 relief package over the finish line. During the negotiations, Kuster helped secure a total of $112 million in Local Fiscal Recovery Funds for rural New Hampshire communities.