The jungle book

Comment: What if the county had 100% fiber broadband? | Review by Chaska

Here to serve you – the people of Carver County.

I think the best part of Carver County is the people – the 108,000 residents, the county’s 750 employees, business owners, civic leaders, taxpayers, visitors and more. You make it the county it is. I will use this space to talk about the people who make Carver County great and who I hope you find important and impactful.


What if Carver County was the first county in Minnesota with 100% fiber broadband?

Nearly 15% of America (as of 2018) and about 11% of Carver County lack broadband access. Compare that to 99.6% of US households that are fully plumbed and effectively 100% with access to electricity.

Broadband access (or lack thereof) has created a digital divide that impacts economic, social, health and educational outcomes. Some call broadband the fuel of “digital prosperity” and the bridge of physical infrastructure and social infrastructure; others simply say that access is necessary in today’s world.

“Broadband for All” would undoubtedly be a strong selling point for current and future residents, businesses, overall economic development, closing gaps in connectivity and access to education, reducing isolation/digital loneliness and associated health implications, bridging rural/urban digital divides, access to telehealth (think more convenient care for grandma and grandpa while living independently and one click away from medical assistance), promoting future competition (and possibly even better prizes), attracting top talent from home free to work wherever they want, and more.

What do you think? I invite your thoughts on the continued introduction of fiber broadband throughout the county and the overall impact on a personal, professional and social level.


“Your life is divided into two distinct areas – what matters most and everything else” – Gary Keller.

We recently had a working session where various topics were discussed, culminating in a discussion where several topics seemed “most important”. Part of leadership is figuring out what matters most while affirming with committed resources. Not every worthwhile or passionate idea can reach the top.

One of the highlights of the past year that I’m grateful for was re-establishing the Eight Community Values ​​(and reaffirming in 2022, Google’s “Carver County Community Values”), originally defined over 30 years ago. years, adding “service level” to our six key pillars for strategy focus and reaffirm the verbiage “where the future builds on the past…” These things guide us in determining what matters most .


A year ago, I was honored with enough votes to represent you as Carver County Commissioner. During the election I proposed 100 things I would strive to do if elected, one of them was to provide an annual report/update. You can find that report (along with links to the Council 2022 recaps) here;

  • Hosted Smarter Spending Session (early indications are that this effort will save taxpayers over $200,000 in mileage from county-owned staff and vehicles, and $200,000+ from switching mobile device providers ).
  • Cut the 11% without high-speed internet (we’re on track to be the first county with over 99.5% high-speed fiber).
  • Annual and semi-annual updates (for voters, cities represented (Chaska/Victoria) and District 112.
  • Highway 5 plan. Starting in 2021, the county not only communicated a proposed start date (2025 with the first phase), but will likely accelerate a plan once considered impossible before 2040. Stay tuned as the details related to the 82nd Street and Arboretum entrance movement become more solidified
  • Highway 212 is fully funded. As of 2021, 100% of the 212 four-lanes in the City of West Carver are funded and approaching design and programming.
  • The council voted to honor veterans with a roadside dedication on Powers Boulevard and voted to honor farmers with a roadside dedication on Highway 10 (official 2022 dedication date TBD).
  • Veterans are getting even better service this year (faster response time, more veterans identified for help).
  • The council approved funding through undrawn US bailout funds to help accelerate more than 200 additional housing units at an expected rent of $1,200/month or less.
  • Our committees and commissions are more representative of our community than ever before, as are the number of applications and the general interest. A balanced board is a better board.
  • Personally, perhaps closest to me, I reached out to all 750 employees at least once in the past year, and each week found a different department, team or individual to recognize with a personal thank you.
  • I voted against a 2.75% salary increase for commissioners and against a 3.5% increase in levies – instead proposing a methodology that would not sacrifice service, but return the dollars associated with the efforts to taxpayers work-from-home and align compensation for commissioners with employees for aligned incentives.
  • Accessible. Whether it’s a commitment to respond to all within 48 hours (shortened to 24 hours), monthly articles in the Victoria Gazette, regular articles in the Chaska Herald, over 24 community “Chat with Matt” or attend over 100 events.
  • And finally, the overall levy rate has dropped in 2022 and we are now 74 of 87 counties. At last review, we in Carver County pay less per $1,000 home value than all but 13 counties in the state.

Matt Udermann is husband (Krista), father (Brooklyn and Tenley), business owner and Carver County Commissioner – District 3 (representing parts of Chaska and Victoria). He can be contacted at [email protected]. For county businesses, cell/text 612-888-4733.