Multiple ventures attract theoretical 'rural bucks'

Ray Mueller

GREEN LAKE – If the attendees at the 25th anniversary Wisconsin Rural Summit on April 19 and 20 would have been able to decide how to spend millions of dollars on a choice of causes in rural communities, how would they have allocated the funds?

Wisconsin Rural Summit participants participated in exercises on preserving and growing rural communities.

How those “Rural Bucks” should be spent was an exercise that the sponsoring Wisconsin Rural Partners invited the summit attendees to take part in. As they registered, each was given $10 million in paper money to distribute to any of six projects, causes, or recipients.

Of the $630 million in participation by attendees, the choices were 27 percent for broadband installation, 17 percent for infrastructure, 16 percent each for entrepreneurs and residential development, 13 percent for school districts, and 11 percent for site redevelopment.

Based on those percentages of a theoretical $630 million, there would be funds to extend broadband service to a total of 8,300 households and businesses, for building 866 residential units, for carrying out 10 infrastructure projects, for supporting 1,020 entrepreneurs, for financing 17 school renovations or expansions, and for remediating or redeveloping 11 blighted sites.