Bonner takes questions
Published 6:48 am Monday, August 20, 2007
By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
A Wednesday visit from U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner brought questions and comments about everything from healthcare to economic development.
Bonner was in East Brewton for a town hall meeting with residents, one of many he is hosting in the first Congressional district during Congress' recess.
Bonner told those gathered at East Brewton's city hall that economic development remains a priority for the region, noting that opportunities for Escambia County exist with ThyssenKrupp's plans to build a steel mill in north Mobile County.
Bonner also pointed out that he believes the incentive package offered by Alabama to lure ThyssenKrupp was a smart move. When the state borrowed $253 million to attract Mercedes to Tuscaloosa, many people criticized the move, he said. But today, the carmaker has a $6.4 billion economic impact on the state every year, with 41,000 jobs resulting from the plant and its suppliers.
Bonner also said that, in light of the tragic bridge collapse earlier this month in Minnesota, the federal government needs to pay more attention to improving infrastructure.
Bonner and those gathered at the meeting also discussed a variety of other issues. Chris Griffin of D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital thanked Bonner for his support of rural healthcare issues, while Jefferson Davis Community College President Dr. Susan McBride said she appreciated Bonner's support of educational programs such as Outward Bound.