ADVERTISEMENT

(Published in the Brainerd Dispatch, Ech

(Published in the Brainerd Dispatch, Echo Journal, June 1, 2022, 1t.) Combined Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact and Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds State of Minnesota Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) Program Date of posting: June 1, 2022 or Date of publication: June 1, 2022 Responsibility Entity: Crow Wing County, Minnesota 326 Laurel Street Brainerd, MN 56401 218-824-1067 Preparer: Consolidated Telephone Company 1102 Madison Street Brainerd, MN 56401 218-454-1234 TO ALL INTERESTED PARTIES, GROUPS AND PERSONS: The purpose of this notice is to identify two separate but related actions to be taken by the Crow Wing County, Minnesota (hereinafter referred to as the Grantee). One, the Grantee has made a Finding of No Significant Impact on project activities described below and two, the Grantee intends to request the Business and Community Development Division, Small Cities Development Program, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED BCD) to release Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (PL166-136) for the following project. Pursuant to HUD CPD Notice 20-07 “Guidance on conducting environmental reviews pursuant to 24 CFR Part 58 for activities undertaken in response to the public health emergency as a result of COVID-19” this notice combines the public comment and objection periods into one 18-day comment period. CARES Act funding is needed on an emergency basis as projects funded with CARES Act funds are designed to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the Presidentially declared coronavirus health emergency. Project title or name: Crow Wing County CDBG-CV Broadband Development Project (CWC Broadband Project) Describe the project in detail: Crow Wing County’s will swiftly deploy a fiber optic to the premise (FTTP) network to hundreds of low to moderate income residents within an area which was economically distressed pre-pandemic and even more so as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as some residents in the area were finding new work because of an increase in local tourism and storefront openings in the nearby cities of Crosby and Ironton, the pandemic shut down business and tourism... resulting in greater economic hardship and financial loss to many of the residents in the Cuyuna region. A lack of broadband infrastructure made distance learning virtually impossible for Crosby-Ironton School District (ISD 182) students and teachers in the area. Additionally, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center was unable to offer telehealth services to many of the patients it serves due to a lack of broadband. This project better prepares the residents in the project area for distance learning, telehealth, and work from home opportunities State justification on why this can be covered under an expedited review: HUD notice CPD-20-07 issued on August 6, 2020 provides guidance on conducting environmental reviews pursuant to 24 CFR Part 58 for activities undertaken in response to the public health emergency as a result of COVID-19. Part III states: During Presidentially declared disasters or local emergencies declared by the chief elected official of the RE, 24 CFR 58.33 allows the RE to publish the combined Finding of No Significant Impact and Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds (FONSI/NOI-RROF) simultaneously with the submission of the RROF to HUD (or to the State, for State-administered programs where the RE is a unit of general local government). Finding of No Significant Impact The Grantee has determined that the Crow Wing County Broadband Project will have no significant impact on the human environment. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (PL 91-190) is not required. Additional project information is contained in the Environmental Review Record on file at the office of the Crow Wing County Administrator and may be examined or copied between the hours of 9:00am and 4:00pm. An Environmental Impact Statement was found to not be required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) due to determining the proposed project would not have adverse impacts on the human environment. An expedited review process has been structured for the project, whereby some environmental laws and authorities have been reviewed in the broad level review for the target area and other applicable laws and authorities will be complied with, when exact fiber cable routes are known. Specifically in this broad level review, the target area has been studied studied and compliance with the following laws and authorities has been established: coastal zone management, coastal barrier resources, air quality, farmlands protection, airport runway clear zone requirements and environmental justice. Compliance with the following laws and authorities will take place once properties within the target area have been identified, but prior to the commitment of funds: historic properties, floodplain management/Flood Disaster Protection Act requirements (if required), wetland protection, sole source aquifers, endangered species, and wild and scenic rivers. By direct contact and with this notice and other opportunities for public participation, the Grantee intends to fulfill the consultation requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Request for Release of Funds Pursuant HUD CPD Notice 20-07 “Guidance on conducting environmental reviews pursuant to 24 CFR Part 58 for activities undertaken in response to the public health emergency as a result of COVID-19” this notice combines the public comment and objection periods into one 18-day comment period. As a result, on or about the day this notice is released the Grantee will submit a request to DEED BCD for the release of CDBG-CV funds authorized by the CARES Act (PL 166-136) for the projects described above. Public Comments Any individual, group, or agency may submit written comments on the Environmental Review Record for consideration by the Grantee to the Crow Wing County Administrator or via email to tim.houle@crowwing.us. Comments must also be submitted to DEED BCD at Irene.Dassier@state.mn.us. Written comments received at the Grantee’s physical address will be scanned and emailed to DEED BCD. All comments received by June 20, 2022 will be considered by the Grantee and DEED BCD prior to authorizing the request for release of funds. Comments should specify which notice and notice they are addressing. Environmental Certification The Grantee is certifying to DEED BCD that Doug Houge in his official capacity as County Board Chair consents to accept the jurisdiction of the Federal courts if an action is brought to enforce responsibilities in relation to environmental reviews, decision making and action; and that these responsibilities have been satisfied. DEED BCD’s approval of the certification satisfies its responsibilities under NEPA and related laws and authorities and allows the Grantee to use Program funds. Objections to State Release of Funds DEED BCD will accept objections to the release of funds and acceptance of the certification for a period of 15 days (publishing) 18 days (posting) following the date this notice wasreleased or its actual receipt of the request, whichever is later, only if they are on one of the following bases: (a) the certification was not in fact executed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Grantee; (b) that the Grantee omitted a step or failed to make a decision or finding required by HUD regulations at 24 CFR part 58; (c) the grantee recipient or other participants in the development process have committed funds, incurred costs or undertaken activities not authorized y 24 CFR Part 58 before approval of a release of funds by DEED BCD; or (d) another Federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR Part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the required procedure (24 CFR, Part 58.76) and emailed to Irene.Dassier@state.mn.us. Potential objectors should contact this email address as well to verify the actual last day of the objection period. Doug Houge, Chair Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners Certifying Officer for the County of Crow Wing, Minnesota c/o Tim Houle, Administrator, Crow Wing County, Minnesota 326 Laurel Street Brainerd, MN 56401