D.C. lobbying successful, officials say

Published 11:58 am Friday, February 11, 2011

Returning from a nearly weeklong lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., local officials said Thursday they were cautiously optimistic about getting money for area projects.

“While we had a number of different meetings, some of them were more positive than others,” Mayor Paul Winfield said during Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

“It was a productive trip. I’m cautiously optimistic,” he said. “We have to get vigilant and very innovative now to get funding.”

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Winfield said the 14-member delegation was greeted warmly and given good direction in the offices of Mississippi’s senior senator, Thad Cochran, and Rep. Bennie Thompson, who represents the 2nd Congressional District, of which Vicksburg is a part.

The group was seeking $4 million in federal funds to pay for the ongoing Washington Street bridge replacement project that currently is being funded with money taken from a planned road-paving project and the development of the Fisher Ferry sports complex.

Officials said they were given directions for applying for alternative funding because of a federal moratorium on earmarks, congressional money given specifically to public projects.