Gadsden hosts Washington, D.C., representative

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Photo: City of Gadsden officials pose for a photo over the Coosa with their D.C. visitor. Pictured, from left: Tena King, Director of City Services; Laura Titus, Senior Legislative Assistant to Congressman Robert Aderholt; Brett Johnson, Chief of Staff to Mayor Craig Ford. (Courtesy of the City of Gadsden)

Gadsden recently received a visit from a representative of Congressman Robert Aderholt’s Washington, D.C., office.
Aderholt’s Senior Legislative Assistant Laura Titus toured the area with Gadsden’s Director of City Services Tena King and Chief of Staff Brett Johnson.

City of Gadsden Mayor Craig Ford and his team visited the nation’s capital in February, where Titus planned to visit Gadsden on Aderholt’s behalf.

“We had a great visit from Ms. Laura Titus,” Johnson said.

King and Johnson hosted her on a tour of Noccalula Falls Park and Campground, the U.S. Highway 411 riverfront corridor and the Memorial Bridge on Broad Street. The group met briefly prior to the site tours to discuss various projects the city intends to undertake, as well as the federal funding process.

“We took her up to Noccalula Falls to give her a physical memory of what that is when we’re asking for funding and support for that area,” Johnson said.

Titus offered the mayor’s staff insight as to what components of the city’s pending projects may qualify for federal legislative directed funding and other pools of federal resources already dedicated via grants.

“We also drove along Memorial Bridge and talked about the challenges, as today we’re submitting the RAISE (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity) Grant to the Department of Transportation to help us repair that vital bridge for downtown,” Johnson said.

In addition to visiting with the mayor’s staff, Titus met with Dr. Kathy Murphy of Gadsden State Community College and organizers with the Challenger Learning Center project, which is seeking to locate in Gadsden.

Ford said this visit was a direct result of his team’s first trip to D.C., and he believes it assisted in gathering information in order to prepare for the earmark process.

As far as timing, the city expects that rules will be issued any day on what types of projects are eligible, and the mayor says his team is ready for any and all contingencies to pursue federal funding, as there are many growth projects on the city’s planning table.

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