Monday July 14, 2003
Mayor Jerry Abramson will be in Washington, D.C., Tuesday and Wednesday talking with Congressional representatives and federal officials about the community’s priorities, ranging from homeland security to economic development.
The trip is part of Greater Louisville Inc.’s “2003 D.C. Fly-In: Taking Regional Issues to the Capitol.”
“This trip represents an important opportunity to discuss priorities for our hometown that, working together with our representatives in Washington, we can help make a reality,” Abramson said.
Abramson, business and community leaders will be meeting with members of Kentucky and Indiana’s Congressional delegations and other federal officials during the two-day trip.
Specifically, Abramson will focus with federal officials on four major issues:
· Homeland Security and the MetroSafe Communications Program: Abramson has earmarked $10 million for the creation of an integrated communications network for emergency first-responders, including police and fire departments. The mayor is seeking federal help to pay for the initiative, which could cost between $40 million and $50 million.
· Improving Louisville’s Air Quality: Federal funding for air quality and public outreach programs will help Louisville as it balances the need for improved environmental air quality and continued economic development.
· Ensuring support for continued funding of the bridges’ project: Construction of a downtown bridge and east end bridge is slated to start in 2006. Ongoing federal funding is necessary to complete the project.
· The importance of the military to Louisville’s economy: Federal assistance is an ongoing need for the continued cleanup of the former Naval Ordinance. In addition, the military spends about $4 billion a year in Kentucky, a result of the Army’s major installations at Fort Campbell and nearby Fort Knox. Protecting Fort Knox’s future as the military continues to restructure is a critical economic priority for Louisville.
Abramson said other issues to be discussed include continued funding for the Louisville Medical Center Development Corporation and the community’s emerging biomedical and research and development sectors.
“We have strong partnerships in Washington,” Abramson added. “This trip is designed to continue taking advantage of those relationships for the benefit of our hometown.”