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Shuler said he’ll fight for stimulus funds

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, spoke to a crowd of about 200 town and county government officials from Western North Carolina last Thursday at the Renaissance hotel in Asheville about the $787 billion stimulus plan.

North Carolina is set to receive $6.1 billion in stimulus funds for various infrastructure projects. Shuler voted against the stimulus bill but said that does not mean he will not fight to get WNC its share of the money. He said now that the bill has passed he supports it.

Shuler said there are some good pieces to the stimulus bill and it can help with the budget shortfalls towns and counties are dealing with.

“No group can manage money better than local government,” Shuler said.

He added that WNC must fight for its portion of the funding, saying the state doesn’t stop in Charlotte, Winston-Salem or Asheville. Shuler added that he thinks there will be another stimulus package to continue bolstering the economy.

Following Shuler’s speech, officials from the Department of Energy and Natural Resources spoke on how towns and counties go about applying for the funds.

— By Josh Mitchell

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