Local leaders: federal budget cuts would not negatively impact local funds

Published 10:46 am Wednesday, March 22, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Budget cuts in President Donald Trump’s budget proposal will likely not have a negative impact on Chilton County.

The budget proposal includes cuts to several federal departments and proposes eliminating some federal programs.

Chilton County Commission vice chairman Joseph Parnell said since the county is predominately funded through local property taxes there would not be an immediate impact if the president’s proposed budget cuts were approved.

“Chance that these cuts could impact us in the future of federal grants for roads and at this point we just don’t know,” Parnell said.

This impact however could be a positive one. Parnell said there has been some talk at the federal level about borrowing money to increase funding for infrastructure. This funding could take the form of grants that the county could apply for to address road issues.

Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed had a similar sentiment.

“At this moment, I don’t know of any entity [in Jemison] that would be impacted,” Reed said.

He was also optimistic about what a proposed infrastructure bill could do for the state and nation.

“As a nation, our transportation system is in need of attention,” Reed said.

He highlighted the widening of Interstate 65 as a major need.

“The highway bill is going to be very important to us,” Reed said.

The Jemison mayor said he was unsure what impacts changes to the healthcare law might have on local residents.

Clanton City Council member Bobby Cook said there would not be an impact to the city because its funding is from local taxes. The city is not receiving any federal grant funding at this time.

Calls to other local mayors were not returned by press time.