Butterfield’s final vote delivers millions to R-C area

Published 4:54 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2023

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WASHINGTON, DC – The passage of the Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus appropriations package on Dec. 22 contains $32,879,497 in Community Project Funding secured by Congressman G. K. Butterfield for projects across the First Congressional District of North Carolina.

Of that amount, Hertford County will receive $3,500,000 for an economic development center while Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center is rewarded with $1,300,000 to help with building a dental clinic in Aulander.

“It’s extremely special to me that my last vote as a member of Congress will send nearly $33 million to the First Congressional District of North Carolina,” said Rep. Butterfield, who officially retired from office on Dec. 31. “Representing the First District has been a labor of love for me over the past 18 years and it feels good to know my last effort will positively impact so many hard-working families across the district long after my time in Congress comes to an end.

Hertford County Manager David Cotton said the county’s board of commissioners has a vision for an economic development center, one that will nurture and grow small businesses. He said those plans, to include a location for the center, are still being developed.

“Thanks to the guidance of this board and the good relationship we have forged over the years with Congressman Butterfield’s office, Hertford County was awarded $3.5 million in the category of Community Project Funding. This is for economic development, which has been the top priority of this board of commissioners. Congressman Butterfield lobbied for us to receive this much-needed funding,” Cotton stated.

Andre Lassiter, chair of the Hertford County Board of Commissioners, stressed that this level of funding presents the county with the opportunity to expand its vision for economic development.

“The citizens of Hertford County are reaping the fruits of our labor. The vision for the Economic Development Plan the Hertford County Commissioners launched four years ago is unfolding right before our eyes,” Lassiter said.

“We were elated to learn this week that we have received an additional $3.5 million in federal funds which increases the total amount we have obtained within the past two weeks to well over $4.5 million in funding for Hertford County,” Lassiter added, referencing the other funds from the state for the county’s Access Chowan project. “These funds will be utilized to develop infrastructure which will hopefully attract major business and industry to our area.

“We are currently in a progressive stance and hope to continue to move Hertford County forward. Our long-term goal is to be a Regional Economic Development Hub for Northeastern North Carolina,” Lassiter noted.

Kim Schwartz, CEO of Roanoke-Chowan Community Health Center, said the federal funding arrived at just the right time.

“We are so pleased that Congressman Butterfield sponsored RCCHC’s request of $1.3 million for Federal funding to support the construction of the new Dental Integrated Care of Aulander facility,” she stated. “We were awarded $1 million in Capital Assistance for Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts from HRSA in late 2020 and due to increased building costs related both to inflation and other COVID effects, the total cost for construction has increased substantially.

“Congressman Butterfield has always been a champion for community health centers and with this earmark he has cemented his legacy forever in the Roanoke Chowan region,” Schwartz added. “The ECU School of Dental Medicine Service Learning Center in Ahoskie made apparent the great need for consistent and affordable dental and preventative oral health care and is helping to train up the future workforce needed for rural North Carolina practices. RCCHC’s dental clinic will provide the much needed access to serve our region.”

Schwartz noted that the projected opening of the Dental Integrated Care of Aulander site is late summer of 2024. Congressman Butterfield championed funding for 12 other projects that will directly benefit residents of North Carolina’s First Congressional District. These include:

$7,043,775 for a water quality and greenway project in Wilson;

$4,000,000 for neighborhood park improvements in Wilson;

$3,452,972 for sewer collection system improvements in Wilson;

$3,000,000 for downtown pedestrian bridge in Rocky Mount;

$3,000,000 for facilities and equipment improvements at Wilson Community College;

$2,500,000 for a greenway project in Greenville;

$2,000,000 for expansion of Wilson RIDE;

$838,000 for replacement of the Pleasant Hills Wastewater Pump Station in Warren County;

$750,000 for street improvements in Robersonville;

$750,000 for a revitalization project in Williamston;

$651,000 for expansion of apprenticeship training programs at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro; and

$93,750 for a restoration project of the Heritage Cemetery in Elm City.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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