Tuesday, Jan 3 2012 1:30PM
John Lewis, state director for Montana Senator Max Baucus, toured communities statewide recently to discover more about issues facing residents.
Montana Senator Max Baucus' State Director, John Lewis, met with the mayors of all 129 of the state's incorporated municipalities in 2011, and came away from these meetings recognizing the needs of rural communities statewide.
Lewis stated that one issue facing many communities in Montana this past year related to access to clean drinking water. He added that spending on projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure is needed in not only urban centers, such as Helena, but also in rural ones.
"Everyone wants clean drinking water," Lewis told The Missoulian. "You need a wastewater system. Streets are crumbling." He added there shouldn't be cuts in funding for these projects in rural communities.
Lewis also spoke of the importance of keeping many rural Post Offices open, as closings of these buildings could lead to substantial job losses in communities already suffering from high unemployment and low job creation.
The Montana Department of Labor & Industry reported that roughly 35,000 Montana residents were jobless by the end of the November, and the state's unemployment rate remained above 7 percent.
For further information, check out this source: The Missoulian