Village of Bonita fighting for federal money

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 7:16 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A Mayor of a Northeast, Louisiana rural village is in Washington, D.C., fighting for infrastructure money. The Mayor of Bonita is taking a stand to rebuild small towns and villages.

Bonita Mayor Virgil Penn is voicing his concerns. He says the village and other small towns need a new water, sewerage, and drainage systems. Several small towns and villages face infrastructure issues. Some officials say are often swept under the rug, but they are speaking out in the Village of Bonita.

“We got the worst water in the world. We have the worst sewerage in the world,” said Pastor James Smith, The Village of Bonita Director of Economic Development.

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

“If we get this Bill and start building our wells, our sewerages, and our drainage. We can compete with the world. We are not landlocked. We can compete with businesses coming here,” said Pastor Smith.

Mayor Penn says poor villages and towns are often overlooked. That’s why village officials traveled to D.C. to speak directly to Senator Bill Cassidy and Congresswoman Julia Letlow.

“She is excited about the program that we are implementing, and she’s from Start, Louisiana, so it’s on that corridor of communities and Parishes that we are trying to pull in together,” said Virgil Penn, Mayor of the Village of Bonita.

Bonita is one of many municipalities considered fiscally distressed by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office. So, the infrastructure money can make or break local governments like this.

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