Ouachita delegation pushes local projects on Capitol Hill

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- A delegation of Monroe city officials is meeting with federal representatives on Capitol Hill this week to discuss long term community projects. The group is looking for federal dollars to make an impact back in Ouachita.

“We don’t take no for an answer,” said Sue Nicholson, president and CEO of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce.

She says these delegation trips to Washington give her a chance to put city projects front and center.

“Whether it’s infrastructure or a center for flood recovery, whatever the project...we have a small list, we all work together,” said Nicholson.

Nicholson and the rest of the delegation are bending the ear of the entire Louisiana delegation on Capitol Hill, hoping to secure funding. Flood recovery efforts are still a top priority according to James Moore, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce.

“Our businesses and our citizens in our area are still seeing the impacts of those floods so these projects...we want to ensure that we’re really prepared for when that next event may happen,” said Moore.

On a divided Capitol Hill, the delegation concedes it is difficult to get every cent for which they ask. But Gretchen Ezernack, Chairman of the Monroe City Council says flood relief, the wastewater treatment plant and a new events center are all on the horizon if they keep pushing.

“You have to really work for it, make people aware of your projects, keep lobbying them, making them aware of what’s going on at home and just working for every dollar you get,” said Ezernack.

The group has meetings through the end of this week. They plan to head home to Monroe on Friday night.