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FGCU launches free workshops to foster equity, retain workers; Supreme Court throws out race claim in SC redistricting case in win for GOP; as millions hit the roads, MI lawmakers consider extra driving fees; CT groups prepare for World Fish Migration Day.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Rural PA Mayor Puts Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funds to Work

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Thursday, June 1, 2023   

A small Pennsylvania community is hoping Congress will remember the needs of rural areas as lawmakers negotiate the final, contentious debt ceiling deal.

Jaime Kinder, mayor of Meadville, said larger cities tend to get more attention and funding from federal and state governments, and small rural areas like hers are more likely to be left out. She added her town has benefited from Bipartisan Infrastructure Act dollars, which have funded projects and programs in the community.

Kinder contends federal funding for small, rural areas must continue.

"We have used that federal money; we bought a fire truck," Kinder pointed out. "That's what helped us be able to bring the EMS service into Meadville. We don't have a lot of money, we have no way of bringing in revenue for a city, right? They tie your hands at the state level. So, the only way you get money in a city is through property tax."

As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Pennsylvania is expected to receive about $13.2 billion over five years in federal funding for highways and bridges. In Meadville, road resurfacing on one major street is part of more than $12.5 million in state work scheduled this year by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Kinder emphasized Meadville relies on funding from the federal government, noting her town's economic needs are just as great as those in larger cities and suburban areas.

"We are a small community of 13,000," Kinder said. "And just because we are small doesn't mean that our citizens aren't worth as much, right? So, we want to make sure that we're giving the same opportunities to rural places as we are big cities and urban places."

Kinder added the town has also received grants to purchase ambulances and equip the fire station and historic Market House with solar energy. Meadville has also created a climate action plan focusing on its future.


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