Stimulus plan may help East Texas

By Layron Livingston - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

Nearly 820 billion dollars. The Obama administration said that's the price of getting the economy back up and jumping again. Just this afternoon, the plan was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives.

While the proposed plan makes it's way through Congress, some say, politics aside, the plan could just be the jolt East Texas needs. What happens in Congress, hopefully does not stay in Congress.

"We're looking at eight projects at around, just over 16-million dollars." said Chuck Ewings, City of Longview Asst City Manager.

He said the proposed stimulus package could help those 8 projects could get underway, sooner rather than later, ranging from pubic safety and public works to transportation.

"Relieves the funding pressure on the city, which benefits our residents," said Ewings. "The more money they have in their pockets, the more money they're going to be able to spend."

And infrastructure... Tom Mullins is with the Tyler Economic Development Council.

"If you're improving infrastructure, you're putting people to work," said Mullins. "That helps a whole segment of the economy."

As it stands now, Texas could see nearly 11.8 billion dollars of this stimulus. 2.4 billion for highways and bridges.

Mullins hopes the Loop 49 project is on the top of that list. Two phases are already done, and with help, the whole project.

"704 Loop 49 has a good chance of receiving some funding out of this, if there's enough to go around 711," said Larry Krantz with Tx-Dot.

Tony Orlowski is Assistant General Manager at Tyler Pipe. He says as the nation goes, so does his plant. Some form of stimulus would help.

"200 at certain levels, we could certainly get some jobs back and every body would enjoy seeing that 207," said Orlowski.

And in these times, any little bit helps.

The Senate is still working on a costlier version of the bill. President Obama hopes to have a final version of the bill ready to be signed by mid February.