Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire
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North Country Adventures

Aug 18, 2016
Catching up with Annie

Hi everyone:

I recently made one of my favorite trips of the summer: a visit to New Hampshire’s beautiful North Country, and I am excited to share it with you! I had the opportunity to visit with residents and community leaders all over the North Country, with stops and events in Berlin, Colebrook, Bethlehem, Woodstock, and more. The weather was gorgeous, and it was fantastic to see so many great projects taking place!

Opioid Legislative Update

It was inspiring to meet people all throughout the North Country who are leading the charge against the opioid epidemic that is tearing apart our communities.

At the Hope for New Hampshire Recovery Center in Berlin, I met with treatment providers, recovery workers, and other stakeholders to discuss the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), and other ways I can be helpful in securing additional federal dollars to fight the epidemic. In Colebrook, I visited Indian Stream Health Center and learned about their efforts to address substance misuse in the North Country, which were aided earlier this year by at $221,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I was joined by Indian Stream staff, as well as representatives from the Coos County Corrections Department, Northern Human Services, and other organizations from around the region.

Finally, I visited the Friendship House treatment center in Bethlehem, where I learned about their expansion plans, and I shared the work I’ve been doing in Washington to address the heroin crisis.

I was proud to help lead my colleagues to pass much-needed legislation addressing the opioid epidemic, but there is still much work to be done. The epidemic is killing too many of our loved ones and tearing apart communities, and I will keep fighting to provide the resources our families need.

 

North Country Resource Forum

Making sure that businesses and communities throughout both the North Country and the Granite State have access to the tools they need to grow and thrive has been, and will continue to be, a key priority to me. In Whitefield, I brought together federal, state and local agencies to discuss funding opportunities during a Resource Forum at White Mountain Regional High School. During the forum, local businesses, non-profit agencies, and leaders in local government heard about a range of grant and loan opportunities to help fund economic development projects throughout the region. Participating agencies included the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Small Business Administration, North Country Council, Northern Community Investment Corporation, and more.

I was excited to hear from the business and community leaders who are creating jobs, supporting families, and driving the economic development needed both in the North Country and across the Granite State.

 

Tour of Transportation Project Sites

During my trip, I joined N.H Transportation Commissioner Victoria Sheehan for a tour of several North Country road projects that are essential to both the safety of Granite State drivers and the economic health of the North Country.

For nearly two years, I worked to help secure the federal funds supporting crucial infrastructure projects, through a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan which was awarded earlier this year to the State of New Hampshire and the N.H. Department of Transportation. The $200 million loan is helping to fund the completion of the I-93 expansion project in the Southern Tier, to repair as many as 24 deficient bridges, and to pave approximately 1,100 miles of roads all across the state. The loan will also help cover the cost of a number of projects I visited during my tour, including the Lancaster-Guildhall Bridge replacement in Lancaster, and the re-paving of Route 3 in Stratford.

A robust and well maintained transportation network is essential to the health, safety, and economic well-being of the Granite State. The sites and projects that I visited are exactly the types of expansion and restoration projects that will have a deep impact all across the state for years to come. I am proud to have worked from the start with the N.H. Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, and Governor Hassan to bring the TIFIA program to New Hampshire.

 

Affordable Housing Roundtable

Safe and affordable housing is essential for communities in the North Country and throughout the Granite State. During my visit to the Lincoln-Woodstock area, I brought together local housing providers, business leaders, community planners, and other stakeholders to discuss housing needs throughout the North Country. I have long been an advocate for affordable housing, and earlier this year I introduced the Housing Preservation Restoration Act to help address the challenges facing residents receiving rental assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development. Rural housing is a lifeline for New Hampshire communities that not only helps to care for our elderly and most vulnerable, but is critical to supporting our state’s economic development. Unfortunately, affordable housing in our country has long been underfunded, and our nation’s affordable housing stock is outdated and in need of repairs. I am committed to continue working in Congress to ensure rural communities have access to the resources they need to provide affordable housing for Granite State families.

 

Have a great rest of the week, and thanks for everything you do to make New Hampshire such a wonderful place to live!