FRUITLAND — T-Mobile announced Thursday that Fruitland and 24 other small towns won  Hometown Grants to jumpstart vital community development projects to re-energize these towns and build upon what makes them unique. Hometown Grants are part of the wireless carrier’s efforts to bring 5G to rural America.

“Fruitland did a great job in submitting a shovel-ready plan with specifics around the budget and execution for a project that hits at the center of the Hometown Grants mission to connect communities through community gathering spaces,” wrote Jon Freier, Executive Vice President of Consumer Group at T-Mobile, in an email Thursday.  “What better way to do so than to give parents a place to bring their young children where they can play and explore. In addition to squarely hitting on the mission we strive for with grants, Fruitland submitted several letters of support from the Payette Recreation District, the Chamber of Commerce and leaders at the local schools.”

“The city of Fruitland is thrilled to be one of the first recipients of the T-Mobile Hometown Grants program. We are in the process of building a new city park that will be a great asset to the citizens of Fruitland and surrounding communities,” said Stuart Grimes, Fruitland City Administrator, in a statement to T-Mobile. This much appreciated grant funding will be used to purchase a Tot-lot playground that will be one of the central features in the Payette River Sports Complex. This playground will entertain kids who visit our park for years to come. We appreciate T-Mobile’s commitment to giving back to communities, it makes those communities a better place to work, live and raise a family. Their generous contribution to the city of Fruitland is greatly appreciated.” 

Over the next five years, T-Mobile plans to hire 7,500 new employees in small towns and rural communities and provide $25 million in grants for community development projects. Earlier this month the carrier unveiled the first Hometown Techover winner, Woodstock, Ill. which will receive a prize package worth $3 million to help the town become a model of 5G for small towns across America. 

The hometown grant winners are:

• Atmore, Ala.

• Wedowee, Ala.

• Clarksville, Ark.

• Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

• Dixon, Ill.

• Batesville, Ind.

• Fruitland, Idaho

• Fort Scott, Kan.

• Lake Orion, Mich.

• Oxford, Miss.

• Laurinburg, N.C.

• Robersonville, N.C.

• Boiling Springs, N.C.

• Raton, N.M.

• Bowling Green, Ohio

• Aumsville, Ore.

• Talent, Ore.

• Toledo, Ore.

• Phoenixville, Pa.

• Pittston, Pa.

• South Fayette Township, Pa

• Erwin, Tenn.

• Elgin, Texas:

• Helper City, Utah

• Moses Lake, Wash.

“Councilwoman [Kari] Peterson discovered the T-Mobile Hometown Grant opportunity several months ago through the Association of Idaho Cities,” Grimes wrote in an email to the newspaper Thursday.

T-Mobile Hometown Grants is just one of T-Mobile’s rural America initiatives. “More than just bringing wireless, T-Mobile wants to be part of the community and help small towns thrive,”Freier added.  


Corey Evan contributed to this article.

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