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Laketown fiber network fails, high turnout seen

Tmthetom via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0

A west Michigan municipal fiber internet proposal failed at the ballot box, with high voter turnout.

Close to 40 percent of Laketown Township registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday for the $8.7 million bond request, with funding through a 16-year property tax levy.

About 53 percent of residents voted no – a difference of 110 ballots, according to unofficial election results.

The Allegan County township has about 5,500 residents and about 2,200 homeowners, according to 2014 Census data.

Advocates had said access to broadband internet should be treated as a public utility. Parts of the state – particularly those in rural areas – face a lack of high-speed internet access, affordability or both.

Others expressed concerns about the measure, citing a lack of planning as well a funding method that wasn’t equal for all residents.

Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.
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