03/16/10 — Leaders lobby for project funding

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Leaders lobby for project funding

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on March 16, 2010 1:46 PM

A delegation from Goldsboro arrived in the nation's capital this morning to lobby elected officials -- U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Sen. Kay Hagan and Sen. Richard Burr -- for support on several projects they say will bring downtown back to its glory days.

City Manager Joe Huffman and his assistant, Tasha Logan -- both are among those who made the trip -- spoke about the effort during Monday's City Council meeting, and Ms. Logan said she believes there is reason to be hopeful about the prospect of getting Washington's blessing for the Union Station, Recreation Center and streetscape redesign projects currently in the works.

The group, which also includes Mayor Al King, Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Allen and Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. executive director Julie Thompson, was scheduled to meet with Butterfield late this morning.

And after the lunch hour, they will take their case to Burr and Hagan.

"It's gonna be a whirlwind," Ms. Logan said.

The purpose of the visit is to submit formal requests for allocations as a part of the Fiscal Year 2011 Appropriations cycle.

Among those requests is $3 million for the streetscape redesign project, which would transform Center Street into a local draw -- should the plan come to fruition, tall trees would line a wider, "more walkable" median.

And the group will also request $3 million for the proposed construction of a Recreation Center downtown -- the council is expected to vote for or against reconstruction within the month.

Finally, they will ask for $1.1 million for the design and construction of the GATEWAY Transfer Station that will be housed at Goldsboro Union Station -- the main station will be ready for occupancy in two years and rail service, officials project, could be available within the decade.

"It should be an interesting day," Ms. Logan said.

The delegation is set to return late this evening.

For complete coverage of the Washington trip and whether or not the group's presentation won over Butterfield, Hagan and Burr, follow the News-Argus or click www.NewsArgus.com