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Citizen's 'novel idea' could be a boon for the town

Several weeks ago, our Mayor and City Council agreed to send a "wish list" to Congressman John Carter after his visit. There are federal grants available to help smaller cities that his staff may be able to identify, especially with additional stimulus money from Washington waiting to be spent.

This week, a local resident had the novel idea of encouraging citizens to get active and contact Rep. Carter to encourage his staff's assistance.

Those of us in small towns don't have government staffs big enough to investigate the myriad government sources of help, and many citizens here are wary of any additional federal money due to strings sometimes being attached.

But we are asking for citizens to get on a letter writing campaign to Rep. Carter's office to "stimulate" his staff's interest in helping us. As this town still reels from the loss of 1,000-plus jobs, coming up with money to fund infrastructure needs inevitably gets put on the back burner.

The city's wish list included $19 million in infrastructure: looming needs such as $10.2 million for rehab work at the Mill Street water treatment plant; $2.025 million to replace crumbling ceramic water lines downtown; $2.5 million to replace the Allday storage tower, a fire safety need; and more less-immediate needs, such as improvements to the town's business park and new hangars at Coffield Municipal Airport.

Small-town Texans don't look to the feds to solve all our problems, but we do have some very real infrastructure needs to be addressed. So turn on the computer, fire up the electric typewriter, sharpen those pencils, get on the phone — whatever you need to do to communicate with our elected representative.

With stimulus money available, additional communication can only help.—K.E.C. CONTACT REP. CARTER

Washington, D.C. Office 409 C.H.O.B. Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-3864

Round Rock District Office One Financial Centre 1717 North IH 35 Ste. 303 Round Rock, TX 78664 (512) 246-1600

Bell County Office 6544B S. General Bruce Dr. Temple, TX 76502 (254) 933-1392

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2009-10-15 digital edition

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