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Monroe County Approves Infrastructure Development Zone

The proposed zone would cover northern parts of Monroe County. (Courtsey, Monroe County Commissioners)

Monroe County Commissioners voted earlier this week to approve an Infrastructure Development Zone in an effort to encourage additional broadband internet investment.

The zones are a tool the state gives local governments to enhance or improve existing infrastructure.

Zones typically provide property tax abatements and income tax deductions; which policy makers hope will incentivize telecommunications providers to enter the area and offer service.  

Jeff Cockerill is the Monroe County Attorney. He crafted the zone that covers much of the northern parts of the county, and says it will create a better environment for telecommunications providers to work in, but won’t simply be a handout.

“We want to have somebody who is going to put infrastructure in," he says. "So it’s really an incentive and not just something they get after they’ve made their calculations.”

Cockerill says he hopes the existing zone will be expanded to include all un-served and underserved areas in the county. 

Estimates show about 25% of Monroe County residents do not have access to broadband internet.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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