(WTAJ) — State Representative Frank Burns (D-Cambria) said he wants to see wise investments in water, sewage and broadband projects as Johnstown and Cambria County are slated to receive a portion of local stimulus funding under the American Rescue Plan of 2021.
The American Rescue Plan was signed by President Biden March 11 as a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. Burns said he prefers infrastructure developments with long-lasting potential over creating or funding programs that satisfy someone’s wish list but are short-lived and lack dramatic impact. According to Burns, $32.19 million will go to Johnstown while $25.25 million will go to Cambria County.
“Any time the federal government is handing out $32.19 million to Johnstown and $25.25 million to Cambria County, a lot of hands are going to go up shouting, ‘Spend it on us!’” Burns said. “We should make good strategic investments, like those in infrastructure, that pay the biggest dividends down the road. We can’t afford to squander this money.”
Burns said now is not the time to act in haste in an effort to get the money out the door as fast as possible, or to “creatively direct money into dubious pet projects.”
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“I urge elected officials to resist those temptations because slipups in following the rules and lapses in judgment can backfire into severe, profound consequences,” he said.