Havelock officials discuss progress during trip to Washington

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 05:12 PM.

Lewis also said the lobbyists helped the city get $8 million in loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help with the city’s sewer pipe relocation project, which will allow the city to expand its sewer capacity.

"That $8 million would not have happened had we not been working through Washington D.C. like we do," he said.

A similar loan will help the city construct a new city hall building.

Walsh said the trips and lobbyists put Havelock a step ahead of other cities.

"There’s an awful lot of cities out there that never do this, but they don’t have a new bridge going in. They don’t have an overpass going across the Slocum Road. They don’t have a new city hall funded at the lowest interest rate in town. They don’t have an $11.8 million pipeline going across Cherry Point," Walsh said. "None of this happens without this trip. We’ve tried to get that bridge since 1972, and when we went to Congressman Butterfield and Congressman Jones working together across the aisle, it got done in just a few years. The Slocum flyover was just a fantasy until we went to Congress and showed them how many people were getting hurt there."

As for last week’s trip, Freeman said some of the discussions revolved around improving employment opportunities for military spouses in the area. The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure pointed out that the lack of employment opportunities military spouses was a low mark for the area around the air base.

"You’ve got to create the jobs to begin with and you have to make sure the individuals are trainable for places like call centers and things of that sort," Freeman said. "If you can bring that into your community, those are plusses in terms of the upcoming BRAC. If we already had that in place before the BRAC came, that would be a plus in terms of the quality of life issues that BRAC may be looking at."

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