By Mike Kruzman /

Marion Township officials have re-opened consideration on a project that would help bring high-speed internet to more of its residents.

New guidelines on potential uses for American Rescue Plan Act funds led the Marion Township Board of Trustees, in January, to postpone a decision on partnering with internet service provider MiSignal.

Josh Rowe, of MiSignal was back before the Board, Thursday night, with more information on their efforts to bring fiber internet to more residents in Marion Township and other townships in Livingston County. One bit of information he said wasn’t brought up last month was that MiSignal is contributing some of their own funds to the project. He said they have currently built 6 miles out of a 24-mile backbone in Genoa Township. Rowe explained that the Genoa backbone goes down Chilson Road from Grand River to Brighton Road, and then along Golf Club Road from Grand River to Hacker. Howell Township, he said, is expected to make a decision on their participation on Monday.

Marion Township Supervisor Bob Hanvey noted that the contract doesn’t require that the funding come from a particular source, and that it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at it. Hanvey said, “I think this is an opportunity we may not have again for quite a while, if not at all.” His suggestion was to start the process by seeing a contract, having their attorney look at it, and then let Board look at it to see what they might be looking at.

Rowe said they are already planned to build-out near the township and have a proposed fiber-backbone that would run down County Farm Road to Mason Road. He said, coincidentally, there are a lot of residents in that area that have already reached out to MiSignal. In January, he discussed a plan that would ultimately build the backbone out into 4 sections to cover the whole township. The projected cost was $490,720, with Rowe estimating the whole township could be wired in 18 months if they began right away. Rowe said the first year of service with MiSignal is $50 per month with no hidden caps or “gotchas,” and then goes to $70 the second year.