City leaders headed to Washington

Published 1:11 am Sunday, March 15, 2009

Representatives from two local city councils are headed to Washington, D.C. this weekend to learn about funding opportunities for their communities as well as new regulations.

Members of the Jemison and Thorsby councils are going to the nation’s capital to attend the annual National League of Municipalities Conference, which is being held today through Wednesday.

“When you don’t go, you don’t know,” Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed said of the trips, which he and Jemison Council members have attended in the past.

“It covers all areas — stimulus funding and what it can be used for, future changes in technology, other types of grants and funding that are out there,” he added. “These things are important. It’s when you don’t go that you don’t know how to plan for future changes and future growth.”

But there are still other reasons why Jemison officials are going to Washington. They also hope to meet with their representatives at the national level to discuss a $5.5 million appropriation the city applied for in 2007.

“We need to look at the widening of that bridge (on Highway 42) that crosses over I-65,” Reed said. “Transportation in that area is vital.”

That bridge will become a major vein for traffic if the city attracts the businesses it wants near the exit.

Reed added that he is expecting residential growth to take place on the eastern side of town as well.