It’s true that Conway’s 2014 budget doesn’t have any travel expenses, but that doesn’t mean that city officials aren’t getting where they need to go.
Conway Mayor Tab Townsell is in Washington, D.C., this week to meet with Federal Aviation Administration officials to make sure federal funding will be on schedule for the new Cantrell Field airport, and to meet with the city’s congressional delegation, Sens. John Boozman and Mark Pryor and Rep. Tim Griffin, about FAA and other federal funding for the new airport “which has to be constantly cultivated,” according to Chamber Senior Vice President Jamie Gates, who is also in D.C. this week.
The Conway Chamber of Commerce is paying for Townsell’s travel expenses on this trip, and Brad Lacy, president and CEO of both the Chamber and the Conway Development Corp. (CDC) said that the Chamber and CDC will continue to make sure that any city travel “that’s critical to economic development or community development” gets paid using privately raised money from the Chamber and/or CDC.
Travel is one expense that has been cut across-the-board for all city departments in response to projected “flat” sales tax revenue.
Lacy said that the Chamber or CDC has, as a practice, paid for city officials including city council members to go on “benchmarking” trips to other cities to learn about their successful projects, and would be able to “take up the slack” for city travel during 2014.
Some of Townsell’s travel expenses for this trip may also be reimbursed by FAA grant money.