03/19/10 — Lobbying trip to D.C. could net city funds

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Lobbying trip to D.C. could net city funds

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on March 19, 2010 1:46 PM

Two members of a delegation from the city that went to the nation's capital Tuesday to lobby elected officials for support spoke Wednesday about a day both characterized as successful.

Mayor Al King and Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. executive director Julie Thompson came back to Goldsboro feeling good about their efforts to receive federal funding for several downtown projects -- thanks mostly, they said, to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

"It went extremely well and one of the things that really helps us is Seymour Johnson," King said, adding that Sen. Kay Hagan, Sen. Richard Burr and U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield are all familiar with Goldsboro and Wayne County because the installation is housed here. "They are familiar with the base and also with us, so they are going to support us. It was a great effort -- definitely worth it."

The purpose of the visit was to submit formal requests for allocations as a part of the Fiscal Year 2011 Appropriations cycle -- $3 million for the streetscape redesign project, $3 million for the proposed construction of a Recreation Center downtown and $1.1 million for the design and construction of the GATEWAY Transfer Station that will be housed at Goldsboro Union Station.

Mrs. Thompson said it helped that she came armed with a detailed report on recent investments made downtown by the city -- the City Hall Annex project, reconstruction of the Paramount Theater, restoration of historic City Hall and implementation of the Historic Neighborhood Revitalization Plan.

"I would think they would be more likely to invest in a city that has invested in itself," she said.

King agreed.

But in his eyes, the best thing going for Goldsboro is its desire to provide amenities to the airmen stationed here -- and that all of the projects planned for downtown would positively impact them.

"Every one of our legislators who we talked to, they are well familiar with the details of Goldsboro and Seymour Johnson and the connection between us," he said. "So I'm convinced that every one of them will support us. They are certainly going to try. I will guarantee you that they are going to look in every pocket there is."