U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis and U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker today announced that Lawrence and Lewis counties have been added to the Appalachian Regional Commission, a distinction allowing for the receipt of funds that will go towards strengthening local infrastructure. President Bush signed the Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments into law on October 8, 2008. Davis, a co-sponsor of the legislation, has been working diligently to get both counties added since 2003.
“ARC has long been a driving force in the Appalachian states. Since its inception many rural counties have been able to undertake infrastructure projects they otherwise might not have been able to do,” said Congressman Davis. “Mayors Rosson and Turnbow should be commended for continuously monitoring this very important issue. Senators Alexander and Corker should also be applauded for ensuring the Senate did not eliminate the addition of these two counties from the bill.”
“Expanding the Appalachian Regional Commission to include Lawrence and Lewis counties will help build on the Commission’s efforts to encourage job growth and infrastructure improvements in some of the most economically challenged parts of our state,” Senator Alexander said. “I want to thank Congressman Davis for his efforts. Without him, this would have never happened.”
“This is good news for the people of Lawrence and Lewis counties,” Senator Corker said. “The inclusion of these Tennessee counties in the Appalachian Regional Commission will help them increase employment and improve economic development in their communities. Congressman Davis and the local leadership have worked hard to secure this designation and I am proud to have supported their successful efforts.”
Since its establishment in 1965, ARC has greatly enhanced the standard of living for millions by promoting economic development in financially underserved areas of Appalachia. They have helped fund education and workforce training programs, highway construction, water and sewer system construction, small business start-ups and expansions, and development of healthcare resources.