The Economic Stimulus Package Could Bring Cash To Region 8

NORTHEAST ARKANSAS (KAIT) President - Elect Barack Obama says his new economic stimulus package will have plenty to go around.

Tonight, many states-- and even cities-- are filling out their wish lists.

For Example, highways are expensive and sometimes the money just isn't there.

State Senator Paul Bookout, "We're a poor state and what I mean by that is. We have a small population so therefore we have a small tax base. And the cost of doing highways goes up every year. "

For years the majority of highway money has gone to Northwest Arkansas.

Senator Bookout feels that it's time to look at the whole map.

"There's a time when our patience is growing shorter and shorter and the need of the people up here are paramount to us and those are the highways the 226 the 63. A lot of highway areas up here need dramatic help."

Bookout says that when and if the stimulus money comes into the state, the spending should reflect what Northeast Arkansas has accomplished.

"The state dollars need to match what we in the city and Craighead county have been doing. We've been helping to build and create jobs and we feel we need some more help."

Besides highway improvements, Arkansas towns and cities could benefit from the stimulus package as well they could get things done like, painting their water towers.

Rector mayor Ron Kemp is already making a list of things he could use the money for.

Kemp, "One is renovation of a building our new water office where we would have more room for our police department. We're going to be needing to paint our water tower which is a major project and one other thing is were always in need of funds to maintain our streets."

Rector could benefit twice since two highways cut through the town.

In Washington anything can happen regarding money.

Kemp, "So we want to be ready in case we have some opportunities."

With the economy in the state it is in whether or not the stimulus package will pass is anybody's guess right now.

It will still take congressional approval--which, of course, has to wait until after Mister Obama takes the oath of office later this month.