The annual Washington trip is set for March 7-9. Chamber Governmental Affairs committee chairwoman Ansley Saville is hopeful that the visit to the nation’s capital will be as successful as a recent trip to the State Capitol in Atlanta.
Fifty-six leaders from Rome and Floyd County participated in the trip to Atlanta earlier this month to lobby on behalf of a number of issues, including removing the sales tax on energy for manufacturers, charter schools and the Tennis Center of Georgia at Berry College.
“The volume was turned up loud to have everybody in that room,” said Saville.
Twenty-three chamber leaders have signed up for the trip to D.C. in two weeks. Martha Bryant Summerbell said she was pleased that nearly two dozen chamber members were willing to invest nearly $1,200 apiece to make the trip to Washington.
The group will meet with representatives Tom Graves, R-Ranger, and Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, on the morning of Thursday, March 8. The group will huddle with senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss that same afternoon.
Side sessions are slated with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and officials from the departments of Commerce, Education and Interior.
Funding for the widening of Highway 140 from U.S. 27 north of Rome all the way to I-75 in Bartow County is also one of the transportation priorities, along with support for several projects at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport.
The group will lobby the Georgia delegation to keep maximum funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, which has pumped almost $500,000 annually into the city of Rome.
The chamber group will also express support for rewriting the operating licenses at Lake Allatoona and Lake Lanier to allow for designation of the water resource as a potable water supply for the city of Atlanta.