DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Alabama lawmakers are entering week two of a special session discussing how to use the COVID relief money provided by the Alabama Rescue Funds.
$772 million is set aside to go towards hospitals, broadband, unemployment trust funds and so much more. One major issue that is being seen around the state is one that some might take for granted, clean drinking water.
“People just don’t have sewers,” WDHN Political Analyst, Steve Flowers said. “They don’t have indoor plumbing. They have sewage in their water system, in their drinking water.”
Counties in Alabama, specifically rural areas are struggling to find safe wastewater disposal due to the lack of a sewer system.
With the help of the COVID relief funds those areas that lack the resources to build a safe system, will soon have funds to finally have safe drinking water and sewage disposal.
“Most counties and cities also can’t afford to build a new sewer system,” Flowers said. “So they will use one-time money for that.”
Sewer systems are not the only issue plaguing these rural areas in Alabama. High-speed internet is hard to come by, but with the expansion of broadband, statewide many will soon have access to the internet, which is vital for children in school.
“The real thing is to make sure these school students have broadband availability,” Flowers said. “That’s the real bottom line, it’s only fair that to give rural areas for children for school.”
According to Flowers, both the democrats and republicans have been on the same page throughout this special session on how these funds will be dispursed. He expects the session to wrap up by the end of this week.