U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre came to Johnston County last week bearing gifts of federal dollars.
The veteran Democrat, whose district now includes Johnston, first stopped in Benson, where he delivered a check for $40,465 to the fire department.
Fire Chief Allen Johnson said his department would use the money to buy a machine that refills the air packs that firefighters wear on their backs when entering a fire. The department’s machine is on its last leg. The federal money will cover all but about $3,000 of the purchase price.
After Benson, McIntyre made his way north to Micro, where he delivered $63,271 to the fire department, which will use the money for safety gear and operating costs. The congressman gave $25,000 to the Micro Police Department, which needs a patrol car.
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In Clayton, McIntyre was on hand for dedication of the town’s new 165-foot-tall water tower, built almost entirely with $2.3million in federal funds, including a $1.6 million loan and a grant of $697,113. The town’s share was just $24,000.
The 1-million gallon tower, at 800 N.C. 42 E., will fill more than fill a 400,000-gallon hole in the town’s water-capacity needs, Clayton leaders said.
Mayor Jody McLeod was thankful for the federal dollars that built the tower. “This is all about assisting existing industries and making it possible for new businesses to come here,” he said. “This is a great example of how local government thinks regionally to be able to compete globally.”
In addition to supplying water to new and existing industry, the tower will enhance fire protection on the east side of town.
McIntyre said he was happy to return tax dollars to Johnston County. “Ensuring Johnston County communities have the tools and opportunities they need to serve and protect businesses and citizens is a high priority for me,” he said. “These federal funds for Benson, Micro and Clayton are your taxpaying dollars coming home to work for you and make a difference in your communities.
“We must always do what we can to help our cities and towns address the challenges of job creation and security, and these federal funds will do just that.”