Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce Headed to Nation's Capitol

February 20, 2004 -- Posted at 5:54 pm CST

JONESBORO—A delegation of the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce is getting ready to take it to the sky for a trip to Washington D.C. All members are footing the bill themselves.

"It's the largest contingency of any Chamber group in Arkansas that goes to D.C.," said Chamber Chairman John Freeman.

The Chamber of Commerce has been planning trips to the nation's Capitol for more than 20 years now, and their meetings with Arkansas legislators prove to be more than just photo-ops.

"They seem to really take up our calls and help us to get the funding that we need to get to some of these really important programs," said Freeman.

During their stay in D.C., speakers from the Chamber will present four major issues concerning the continued growth of Jonesboro to Senators Lincoln, Pryor and Congressman Berry. In the past, a similar trip helped them solidify the start of a major project.

"The I-555 project was a project that was brought to Washington by our group from the Chamber, and worked on, and put into the law, and funded," said Chamber President Henry Jones III.

This time around, topics will center around plans to convert Arkansas 226 to Interstate 730. Also, continued plans for an ASU railroad overpass, and project funding for the Jonesboro Airport .

The Chamber will also be discussing the prospect of a community transportation system, but 50% of the funding for this project will have to come from the federal government.

"They listen to us as they do all their constituents," said Jones.

February is an important time to be on Capitol Hill, because Congress typically designates this month for transportation issues. The timing couldn't be better for some lofty goals.