Waldoboro will receive a $113,889 grant for a wireless broadband Internet project, announced Town Manager William Post at the May 11 Board of Selectmen meeting.

The grant comes from the ConnectME Authority, a state program that seeks to expand broadband service to underserved areas. It is funded by a 0.25 percent surcharge on in-state retail communications services.

The town will work with Midcoast Internet Solutions to expand broadband access in Waldoboro. ConnectME will provide the town’s share of the match for the project, with the Internet service provider picking up the rest of the $275,000 project cost.

The project is contingent, however, on a land use ordinance amendment that will be on the town’s June 8 ballot. Voters will be asked on Article 44 if they want to allow wireless Internet service providers to construct towers up to 120 feet in height anywhere in town, with the exception of the historic village district. The towers are thin, less than 2 feet in diameter, unlike cell phone towers.

Post said the project would provide broadband access to 400 households in Waldoboro.

“This is a huge step forward to get broadband,” Post said.

Phillip Lindley, executive director of ConnectME, said Waldoboro’s application showed that hundreds of households do not have broadband access, and this project would help with the unserved areas. He said Waldoboro’s application had strong support from the community, including numerous e-mails from residents and a letter from the town manager.

“There are a lot of areas in the state that do not get access without gap financing, and that is ConnectME’s primary charge,” Lindley said.

Waldoboro was the only Midcoast town to receive funding for access in ConnectME’s fourth round of grants.

Lindley said ConnectME does not want to interfere with the work of privately funded projects. That is why after the grants are awarded, companies have 14 days to come forward and say that they will start a project in those underserved areas within 45 days and complete the project within a year.

Lindley said Waldoboro’s application indicates that the project would be completed within 10 months of receiving funding from ConnectME.

Other business from Board of Selectmen

• Selectmen approved the purchase of a new ambulance, a 2010 Ford PL Custom, with a total price of $120,266. The purchase is contingent on voter approval of the budget at the polls on June 8. Emergency Medical Services Director Mike Monck and Deputy Director Mike Poli answered selectmen’s questions about the purchase.

• Selectmen agreed to award the auditing contract to RHR Smith & Company for $6,785, which is about half the cost of the previous auditing contract. The deal is for one year, with an option for four more years if the town is satisfied with the work.

• Selectmen approved the nomination of Post to serve on the Maine Municipal Association Legislative Policy Committee.

• Selectmen authorized the town manager to put out requests for proposals to build a new fire escape for the Friendship Street School.

• Post announced that the town received a $1,500 grant from the New England Grassroots Environment Fund to help pay for a natural resources inventory and management plan for Quarry Hill, a town-owned property.