(WFXR) — U.S. Sen. Mark Warner is continuing his tour around the Commonwealth, looking at ways to improve infrastructure.
He visited Bedford and Amherst counties on Wednesday, April 13 to discuss some issues impacting the day-to-day lives of residents.
In Bedford County, Warner visited Goode and addressed the infrastructure bill meant to provide $60 million of federal funds for better broadband access to more than 11,000 homes and businesses across the county. He says this is especially necessary for doctors and their patients when using telehealth.
“A lot of those follow-up appointments with the doctor can be done over a computer, can be done over an iPhone,” said Warner.
For more than a year, the Bedford County Board of Supervisors has been working with Shentel Telecommunications to begin the process.
According to the vice president of Shentel, Chris Kyle, “This is one piece of the puzzle for rural communities, and it’s an important piece and we’re glad to play a small role in the evolution here.”
Kyle says the process of installing the fiber wires will take a year to a year and a half. It is scheduled to begin later this year.
During Warner’s afternoon stop in Amherst County, community leaders discussed funding that was requested to begin a project that would help solve erosion issues with the James River. It would also protect sewer lines and water quality.
“Being able to address something like a failing collection system has a narrower level of funds that are available so you end up paying more for those projects, which makes your sewer bill as a consumer higher,” said Amherst Town Manager Sarah McGuffin.
Town officials say they also need more money to hire staff to handle grant applications, especially when it comes to getting funding for the water system.
“The needs never end because this is the infrastructure that serves people every day and makes sure they have safe drinking water,” McGuffin added.
On Thursday, April 14, Warner will continue his tour in Charlottesville and Fredericksburg.