COUNTY OFFICIALS TAKE STIMULUS WISH-LIST TO WASHINGTON, D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Mecklenburg County leaders have traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with the North Carolina Congressional Delegation, asking legislators to include the County in the proposed federal stimulus package. Board of County Commissioners Chairman Jennifer Roberts, Commissioner Vilma Leake and County Manager Harry Jones are seeking federal funds to support $430 million in local projects, including:
CPCC's Harris Campus expansion
CPCC parking deck
Memorial Stadium/Grady Cole Center renovations
Solid waste facilities
Storm water systems
School renovations and repairs
Social Services and homelessness
Roberts, Leake and Jones are meeting with Sen. Kay Hagan, D-NC; Rep. Mel Watt, D-NC; Rep. Larry Kissell, D-NC; Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, as well as Republican Rep. Sue Myrick's Washington chief of staff.
Feedback from Hagans office suggested the $16 billion in school funding removed from the Senate version of the stimulus bill may not be put back in the final legislation. Jones said school construction funding would make a significant difference to Mecklenburg County for several reasons. Since 60 percent of the Countys budget is designated for schools, its important that school construction is part of the stimulus package, he said. Receiving those funds could allow us to avoid cutting County jobs and layoffs.
We must continue to impress upon our legislators to support the education component of the stimulus, said Leake.
Roberts was in Washington earlier this month to express support for funding for alternative energy, air quality initiatives and decreased dependence on foreign oil. We need energy money in the stimulus package, Roberts said. Retrofitting schools and County facilities to be more energy efficient will create significant savings for taxpayers.