Gillibrand visits Lowville, promotes Rebuild Rural America Act

Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 4:56 PM EDT
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LOWVILLE, New York (WWNY) - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited Lowville Tuesday to promote legislation that would invest $50 billion into rural economic development.

“Too often federal economic policies have sidelined smaller communities and failed to support their unique needs,” said Gillibrand (D. - NY).

Her proposed Rebuild Rural America Act would dole out $50 billion in grants to boost rural economic development across the country.

“We can make a narrow and inflexible system better by allowing it to respond to communities’ specific needs,” said Gillibrand

Public recreation is one of those needs, which is why Gillibrand made the announcement at Lowville’s soon-to-be Double Play Community Center. The bill would help fund similar projects across the country. But that’s not all.

“It would give them the support to improve everything from infrastructure and school to public health facilities and affordable housing options,” said Gillibrand

Double Play Community Center is currently in phase 1 of a 3-phase plan to improve recreational life in Lewis County. Executive Director Dan Myers says Gillibrand’s proposal could make phase 2 a lot easier

“We really need to add a small gymnasium and turf area, some outdoor recreation with some walking spaces and some exercise stations, and a bike trail possibly in the future,” he said.

Gillibrand is aiming for the legislation to pass as part of this year’s Farm Bill. She says it’ll likely see bipartisan support.

“Rural development is necessary in all states - red, blue, purple. With the makeup of the people on the ag committee, I fleel like this will be a very wide bipartisan effort,” she said.

The Farm Bill is expected to pass by the end of the year, but it could take longer depending on whether or not lawmakers are in agreement.