Senator Tammy Baldwin spent her Wednesday visiting communities in Door and Kewaunee counties to discuss a variety of issues impacting residents while the U.S. Senate is on its August recess. The senator’s day started in Casco where she met with officials from the village and its partners at nSight and Cellcom to bring fiber internet to the area. The village received grants from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to get the project underway to over 250 addresses. Approximately 78 percent of the village is finished despite the village, nSight, and Cellcom agreeing to terms less than a year ago. The development means Village Clerk Tammy Skarban can be more efficient in her duties as her internet speeds increased from 1.5 MB to over 900 MB thanks to the upgrade. It is more personal for Casco resident Kevin Lampe, who joked first about using his new internet connection to play video games before saying the ability for his son with special needs to be able to connect with his ailing father via video calling was the most important. Baldwin says while the internet should be considered as infrastructure, it is virtually invisible compared to roads, bridges, and pipelines.
The Democratic senator headed north after her discussion in Casco to Sturgeon Bay, where she toured the Door County Maritime Museum before having a similar roundtable discussion with community leaders. While broadband was on the agenda, topics like childcare, affordable housing, and behavioral health also took center stage. Baldwin heard sober statistics like the high percentage of income going towards childcare, the low success rate of the aerial deployment of broadband, and the growth of fentanyl abuse in Door County. In her closing comments, Baldwin says connecting with local leaders helps her do her job better.
Baldwin said her visit to Sturgeon Bay’s west side coincided with grants she helped champion that will support the Door County Maritime Museum’s Jim Kress Maritime Tower and Tug John Purves and the Door County Granary.