Mayor pleased with DC visit
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
A Hartselle delegation of elected officials and community leaders returned home March 3 feeling good about their three-day trip to the nation's capital to seek federal funding for eight proposed community improvement projects. This came in spite of their flight both going and coming being routed through Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and being delayed four hours on the return trip because of an airplane malfunction.
"I think it was an excellent trip," Mayor Dwight Tankersley said. "With the people we had in our delegation we showed a united front in what we were asking for and were able to get to talk with everyone we went to see."
Tankersley said the delegation, which included four of the five members of the city council, visited with Congressman Bud Cramer, D-Huntsville, Congressman Robert Aderholt, R.-Haleyville, Senator Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, and Senator Jeff Sessions, R.-Mobile, and members of their staffs.
"We were in Congressman Aderholt's office for about an hour and Congressman Cramer made a special effort to meet with us. He had to reschedule our visit a couple of times because he was tied up in a committee meeting," Tankersley said.
Tankersley said copies of the city's congressional agenda along with completed grant application forms were submitted in advance of the trip.
"This was a good move because it gave them the opportunity to review our requests before we arrived and gave us the opportunity to answer the questions they had," he said.
"From the reception we received and the discussions we had I'd say there's good chance we'll get funding in 2006 for the proposed widening of Highway 36, East, and a citywide wireless network."
The other projects for which funding was requested are: expansion of infrastructure in the Hartselle-Morgan County Industrial Park, downtown enhancement, emergency warning sirens, replacement of runway lighting and additional hangars at Rountree Field, a comprehensive drainage survey and expansion and revitalization of the wastewater treatment plant.
The delegation included council members K.T. (Kenny) Thompson, Samie Wiley, Bill Smelser and Mark Mizell, District 2 commissioner Richard Lyons, MCEDA director Jeremy Nails, HU general manager Ferrell Vest, Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce president Susan Hines and chairman of the board Doug Moss, HDB chairman Bob Francis and MPO transportation director Dewayne Hellums.