Village of Bonita combating for federal cash

MONROE, La. (KNOE) – A mayor of a rural northeast Louisiana village in Washington, DC is fighting for money to buy infrastructure. The mayor of Bonita is committed to the reconstruction of small towns and villages.

Bonitas Mayor Virgil Penn has raised concerns. He says the village and other small towns need new water, sewer and drainage systems. Several small towns and villages face infrastructure problems. Some officials say they are often swept under the carpet, but they speak out in Bonita Village.

“We have the worst water in the world. We have the worst sewers in the world, ”said Pastor James Smith, director of economic development for The Village of Bonita.

He says smaller governments like Bonita want their fair share of federal funds.

“When we get this bill and start building our wells, sewer systems and drainage. We can compete with the world. We are not landlocked. We can compete with companies that come here, ”said Pastor Smith.

Mayor Penn says poor towns and cities are often overlooked. Because of this, village officials traveled to DC to speak directly to Senator Bill Cassidy and Congressman Julia Letlow.

“She’s excited about the program we’re implementing and she’s from Start, Louisiana, so we’re trying to bring this corridor of wards and parishes together,” said Virgil Penn, mayor of Bonita Village.

Bonita is one of many communities deemed to be tax-stricken by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office. So the infrastructure money can make or destroy local governments like this one.

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