Senator hosts discussion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 21, 2007

LINDEN &045; U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby R-Ala. held a Town Hall Meeting with residents of the area yesterday at Linden City Hall where he spoke about economic issues facing the area and the nation.

Some of the most pertinent questions Shelby answered pertained to the economic needs of the state and Marengo County. Mitzi Gates asked the senator to detail efforts that could be achieved on a local level to entice economic growth.

Shelby mentioned that bringing an extension to the Linden Airport would greatly boost the appeal of the city to outside investment. He said an airport that can accommodate commercial jets would help bring big corporations and allow businesses to see that the area is ready for larger industries.

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Shelby said that the right tax conditions to entice larger corporations are necessary to aggressively seek industry. Shelby said proper infrastructure, roads, for transportation is also important so industries can ship goods out.

Ken Tucker applauded Shelby’s efforts in getting the proposed Interstate 85 project rolling, which he felt would greatly help the infrastructure of the area. Shelby said he tried to jump-start the project with $1 million dollars, he had to spend anywhere in the state.

Shelby said an interstate four-lane highway couldn’t hurt the economics of the area and his funds would enable them to start, though not finish, such a project. Tucker then asked Shelby his thought on the growing national debt in relation to the growing Chinese economic impact in the world.

Shelby presented the gathering with a chart illustrating the deficit of United States in a single year brought about by the discrepancies of imports versus exports by the nation.

Shelby showed that we fell short on trade to China $200 billion dollars and the total trade deficit was $782 billion dollars in the year illustrated. Shelby said the growing deficits could erode the entire architecture of our economy if not checked.