By Mike Kruzman /

Howell Township officials have decided on using federal COVID-relief money on sewer and internet improvements.

The township is set to $756,754 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLFRF) funding. Half of that total has been received, with the remaining amount scheduled to arrive around September 2022.

The Board of Trustees has decided to make high-speed internet access a priority with some of the money. Howell Township is working with Howell-based Mi Signal to provide fiber internet service with gigabit speeds. A memo on the township’s website states that the township will be split into two areas: the unserved areas that lack broadband internet, and the underserved areas that may have broadband internet at the road, but no feasible way to get it to their house. The unserved areas, which are in the northwest and southwest portions of the township, will be built out in approximately 6 months. The remaining areas of the township are considered “underserved” and will be built out in 18 months.

The Board will also use relief funds at six sewer pump stations that do not have remote capabilities. Updated equipment will allow the wastewater plant operator to remotely monitor and operate the stations.