Trip should be productive

Published 8:12 pm Monday, March 16, 2009

Municipal leaders from Jemison and Thorsby are this week are attending the annual National League of Municipalities Conference in Washington. This opportunity could allow these Chilton County cities the chance to compete for federal money.

These trips aren’t just sightseeing trips for our local leaders; it is a time where they can meet and network with national leaders. They will even get the chance to meet with Congressman Spencer Bachus, Sen. Jeff Sessions and Sen. Richard Shelby.

Our local officials will also have numerous training sessions to learn how to apply for grants, and they will give out important information regarding the economic stimulus package signed by President Barack Obama.

This vital information is the most important reason to go.

“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.”

Jemison and Thorsby officials have their own wish lists of things they want funding for. Jemison hopes to meet with their representatives at the national level to discuss a $5.5 million appropriation the city applied for in 2007. One of the main things they are asking for is widening of the County Road 42 bridge.

Thorsby also filled out its appropriation request for the first time ever. Mayor Dearl Hilyer said he hopes his town can get a piece of the pie. They are asking for funding to help renovate their sewer system, and Thorsby officials are also looking for any money they can find that could help restore the old Thorsby School, which could be used for a community center if it gets completed.

We hope this trip is successful for everyone involved.