Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dollars are nice, but Rural needs more

As I've travelled around the rural parts of Georgia, I've confirmed in my mind that these areas are in desparate need of federal resources. The resources are not just in dollars, but also in technical assistance. Urban areas suffer as well, but they have better access to legal, engineering, and professional resources that are so vital in accessing federal funding.

So many times I've listen to officials in rurul governments talk about various problems they face. When I mention possible federal programs that may help, they either don't know about them or even worse... they know about the programs but don't have the technical support to apply for the monies. I'm also finding there needs to be more support of rural partnering and regional approaches to specific challenges like transportation, water resources, and education. I think part of the solution lies in less talk about rural issues and politicians taking a more hands on approach to help their rural constituents. rj

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