My visit to Washington to meet with Congressman Kennedy

On Friday, January 10, using personal funds, I traveled to Washington to meet with Congressman Joe Kennedy, III (Democrat 4th Massachusetts District) to discuss federal issues of importance to the City of Fall River, Assonet, and the 6th Bristol District, which Congressman Kennedy and I share.

Congressman Kennedy and his staff were most gracious, and we had a very productive meeting focused on the following issues:  (i) the status of the City of Fall River Safer Grant for additional funding and the preservation of jobs for Fall River firefighters; (ii) the need for additional federal funding for police programs; (iii) the future of the Brightman Street Bridge; (iv) potential federal transportation funding (est. $55 million) for the Route 79 North Project and assistance with Federal Highway for its approval to coincide with the completion of the spaghetti ramp project; (v) potential TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant funding for the high-speed Fall River-Newport-Block Island ferry component of the City Pier Revitalization; (vi) securement of a Federal Trade Zone designation for the City’s Industrial, Commerce, and Life Science Parks to reduce the cost of importing raw material used in manufacturing; and (vii) identification of federal infrastructure grant funding for Assonet to accommodate further commercial and industrial growth.

While the agenda of issues may seem long and complicated, Congressman Kennedy pledged his support for the initiatives discussed and assigned staff members to work directly with myself and the City to continue to push these issues forward.  I also plan to have similar meetings with Congressman Keating and Senators Warren and Markey and will seek to use every tool at our disposal to methodically address the issues at hand and work collaboratively to successfully resolve them.

Carole Fiola

State Representative

6th Bristol District