Town hall meeting held in Claxton on issues facing rural towns

CLAXTON, GA (WTOC) - Talk to people in Claxton or other rural parts of the state and they'll tell you, even in the 21st Century, there are still two "Georgias".

Evans County's School Superintendent Dr. Marty Waters told members of the Senate Rural Study Committee about the challenges rural school systems have, from finding tax revenue to recruiting and keeping teachers.

It was just one topic in committee's hearing to see how they can help rural Georgia catch up to Atlanta and other cities.

Utility providers like Pineland Telephone and AT&T talked about the challenges of getting broadband to rural customers and the regulations and fees they face.

Community members said their hearing helped them have a voice, rather than traveling to Atlanta to ask for help.

"We're able to bring in people from all aspects of the community and they can address issues they're dealing with in their profession," said Claxton Mayor Terry Branch.

Committee members asked questions about what the state can do to help narrow the gap between rural and urban Georgia.

Members of the House of Representatives committee had a similar hearing Wednesday in Waycross.

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