Washington trips are crucial to community growth

Published 10:56 am Friday, December 5, 2014

Rubbing elbows. Hob-knobbing. Lobbying. Greasing the wheels.
Whatever you might call it, the work Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. is doing in Washington, D.C. is far more important than a perceived pleasure trip.
When it comes to federal spending, it is important to be the first ones, the loudest ones and the best prepared when seeking appropriations.
Despite perceptions otherwise, money at the federal level does not come easy, especially to those municipalities and areas where the voting population — rather the overall population — doesn’t necessarily add up to 100,000 or more.
But, Vicksburg is different, in addition to being home to one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ most crucial facilities, as well as one of the Army’s premiere defense laboratories, Vicksburg is home to amazing history and a transportation hub that not only serves road and rail, but river commerce as well.
So this most recent trip by Flaggs, as well as the upcoming trip in January, is crucial to Vicksburg remaining on the minds of our Congressional delegation.
We cannot just sit back and expect much-needed development, economic stimulus or infrastructure funds to just land in our lap. We must work for it and it is good to see Flaggs taking the lead in that fight.
Some of the projects included securing funds to help maintain and operate the Lower Mississippi River Museum and Interpretive Center, as well as expanding the scope of the Vicksburg National Military Park, two important cogs in the large tourism industry Vicksburg and Warren County enjoy.
There is also much needed work on the city’s infrastructure, primarily the work needed to replace and upgrade the city’s sewer collection system, currently under scrutiny by the Environmental Protection Agency.
These are not small things, they are important things that local tax dollars, and even state funds, cannot fully support or pay for.
While we often sit back and bemoan government spending on frivolous things, we do know there are projects worth spending money on and some of them just happen to be located right here in Vicksburg.

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