Top officials travel to D.C. to lobby for city, county

TUPELO – City and county government leaders will join the community’s top economic development officials on a trip to Washington for a round of political networking.
Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr., Lee County Board of Supervisors President Tommie Lee Ivy, Community Development Foundation Chairman Chris Rogers, and CDF President and CEO David Rumbarger were expected to leave this morning along with other CDF staff for the two-day jaunt.
The men will talk with representatives from Mississippi’s congressional delegation about the community’s needs and update them on the status of existing federally funded projects.
“The main purpose of the visit is to maintain relationships with our congressional delegation, their offices and their staff members,” said Shane Homan, CDF’s senior vice president.
Homan also said the visits sometimes include requests for federal dollars to support area projects.
CDF is paying for the trip, and the group specifically will meet with U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, D-Miss.
Among the topics on the agenda are updating D.C. officials about the Major Thoroughfare Program and asking for their cooperation in keeping Delta flying out of Tupelo Regional Airport.
“Our most pressing issue is essential air service,” Reed said. “We received notice my first week in office that Delta was proposing to terminate services in Tupelo, but that’s really a feint to get federal subsidies to keep serving us.”
The trips are annual events, and both Reed and Ivy have gone before – Reed as a past CDF chairman, and Ivy as a supervisor.
“It’s an opportunity for us to show our solidarity,” Ivy said, “the city and county and CDF.”

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Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

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