For immediate release
April 13, 2017
For more information, contact
Bonnie Prigge at (573) 265-2993
Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) Executive Director Bonnie Prigge (left), MRPC Chairman and Maries County Presiding Commissioner Ray Schwartze, and MRPC Assistant Director Tammy Snodgrass (right) met with Sen. Roy Blunt twice on a recent trip to Washington D.C. to present MRPC’s federal legislative priorities and to attend the National Association of Developmental Organizations (NADO) conference.
A delegation from the Meramec Regional Planning Commission met with Rep. Jason Smith during a recent trip to Washington D.C. to present MRPC’s federal legislative priorities, discuss the importance of EDA, CDBG, DRA and USDA to rural areas, as well as attend the National Association of Developmental Organizations (NADO) Washington Policy conference. Pictured: MRPC Chairman and Maries County Presiding Commissioner Ray Schwartze (left), MRPC Assistant Director Tammy Snodgrass, MRPC Executive Director Bonnie Prigge and Rep. Jason Smith.
MRPC delivers federal legislative priorities to D.C.
Discusses importance of EDA, CDBG, DRA, USDA to rural areas
ST. JAMES— Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) Executive Director Bonnie Prigge, Assistant Director Tammy Snodgrass and MRPC Chairman Ray Schwartze, Maries County presiding commissioner, met with congressional leaders and staff during a recent trip to Washington D.C. where they delivered MRPC’s federal legislative priorities for the year.
Just prior to the D.C. visits, President Donald Trump had released his budget, which proposed elimination of EDA, CDBG, DRA and USDA water and waste-water programs – all public works programs that benefit rural areas.
In addition to discussing the region’s federal priorities, the Meramec delegation also shared how these programs benefitted the Meramec Region.
“The money that is awarded as grants through the Missouri Department of Economic Development are federal HUD CDBG dollars,” Prigge stated in an email. “Right now, MRPC is administering infrastructure projects in Phelps County (water), Edgar Springs (sewer), Chamois (sewer), Phelps County sheltered workshop (job creation), Richland (housing demolition), Washington County (low water crossing), Steelville (ADA), Potosi (bridge/flooding), Phelps County (roadway) and Bland (water). The state of Missouri does not have the dollars to replace CDBG dollars and our local governments do not have the funds to make infrastructure improvements without help. Many times, the water and waste water projects are a result of federal mandates. The same is true with EDA and DRA cuts...these programs provide infrastructure improvements in Rural America.”
Each year, the MRPC board develops a list of priority issues impacting the Meramec Region. Those priorities are divided into seven categories – transportation, economic development, health care and social services, energy, homeland security and emergency preparedness, education and local government issues.
This year, the group visited with Sen. Roy Blunt, Rep. Jason Smith, and staff from the offices of Sen. Claire McCaskill, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer and Rep. Vicki Hartzler.
This year’s top priorities included:
- Provide enhanced, sustainable funding for the nation’s highway, aviation, prioritized freight routes and transit needs and find a means to fund the Federal Highway trust fund;
- Continue to promote Fort Leonard Wood (FLW) using the results of the Joint Land Use Study and Missouri’s Military Infrastructure Report;
- Repeal or correct nonworking components of the Health Care Reform Act and keep the provisions that work;
- Continue to work toward energy independence;
- Support continued funding and expanded missions for Fort Leonard Wood;
- Support technical training initiatives such as the MO Wins and MO Health Wins programs for labor force;
- Eliminate unfunded federal mandates to states or provide funding options/opportunities to states and/or local governments to fully fund them; and
- Encourage all parties to work together for the betterment of our country.
For a full copy of the full 2017 federal legislative priorities report or for more information about MRPC and its programs, visit www.meramecregion.org.
The group also attended the National Association of Developmental Organizations (NADO) Washington Policy Conference March 20-22.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 25, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.
To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.orgor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.