Some rural economic-development supporters want the Legislature to provide more funding to help rural parts of the state, but they differ on the form of that support.

Options discussed at a legislative committee meeting Wednesday included earmarking $500,000 to help fund several small projects, and having a lottery-style contest with the winning community getting several million dollars.

Sen. Dennis Stowell, R-Parowan, suggested a $500,000 funding of the Business Development for Disadvantaged Rural Communities Restricted Account, created and funded for one year only through legislation in 2005. Six projects were funded with $250,000 that year, with most involving business incubators or business resource centers.

But Gayle McKeachnie, director of the state's rural development office, told the Workforce Services and Community and Economic Development Interim Committee that more money is needed and that a lottery would help communities get needed infrastructure and help them focus on their economic-development futures.


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