The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development yesterday announced $34,656,956 in grants to 15 Minnesota cities and counties across the state from the Small Cities Coronavirus Community Development Block Grant Program.

Get our free mobile app

The City of Harmony was one of the 15 different recipients of the grant, receiving  $2,245,849 for broadband improvement.

As part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Minnesota received a special allocation to address community needs to prevent, prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a news release from MnDEEED, most of the funding, nearly $32.2 million, will be used for broadband improvement projects. MnDEED did say that projects under CDBG-CV are not associated with the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program managed by the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development.

Other uses of this funding will include housing assistance, food shelf assistance, retrofitting buildings and commercial rehabilitation projects. These uses were determined through an open community input process and approved by the Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD).

“The pandemic has made clear how vital broadband is to the lives of Minnesotans and to the economic vitality of our state,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “These grants will help communities fund broadband and other important projects as we write the next chapter of our economy.”

Other uses of this funding will include housing assistance, food shelf assistance, retrofitting buildings, and commercial rehabilitation projects. These uses were determined through an open community input process and approved by the Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD).

Applications were rated according to need, impact, and cost-effectiveness. Funds are intended for projects that are focused on the locality and that will be used primarily for low-and-moderate income residents.

Other southern Minnesota communities that received grants include the City of Dodge Center, which received $3,142,747 for broadband improvement, and the City of Wabasha, which received $107,350 for commercial rehabilitation.

The complete list of 15 Minnesota communities that recieved grants is below.

Aitkin County, $4,823,654
Broadband improvement
City of Appleton, $3,699,000
Broadband improvement and commercial rehabilitation
City of Benson, $678,000
Retrofitting buildings
City of Bemidji, $600,000
Retrofitting buildings
City of Bloomington, $154,430
Housing assistance and food shelf assistance
City of Ceylon, $983,105
Broadband improvement
Crow Wing County, $4,495,340
Broadband improvement
City of Dodge Center, $3,142,747
Broadband improvement
Faribault County, $2,886,206
Broadband improvement
City of Harmony, $2,245,849
Broadband improvement
City of Madison, $2,560,000
Broadband improvement
City of Slayton/Murray County, $2,822,278
Broadband improvement
Pine County, $3,743,390
Broadband improvement and retrofitting buildings
Redwood County, $1,715,607
Broadband improvement
City of Wabasha, $107,350
Commercial rehabilitation

Minnesota's 25 Smallest Towns According to the 2020 Census

According to the 2020 census, the smallest town in Minnesota has a population of 507 people. Check out the 25 smallest towns in Minnesota according to our latest census.