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Local officials meet March 7 with U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, in his Washington, D.C. office. Pictured are (from right, counterclockwise) Rome City Manager Sammy Rich, Ansley Saville of the Rome Floyd Chamber, Mayor Bill Collins, Graves, Stephanie Scearce of Georgia Northwestern Technical College, and Chamber Chair Elaine Abercrombie. / contributed

A contingent of Rome and Floyd County leaders made a trip to Washington, D.C., to lobby for federal assistance on several initiatives.

U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, met with the group, which included Rome Mayor Bill Collins and City Manager Sammy Rich; Rome-Floyd County Development Authority Chair Jimmy Byars; Stephanie Scearce of Georgia Northwestern Technical College; and Rome Floyd Chamber representatives Elaine Abercrombie, Ken Wright, Jeanne Krueger and Ansley Saville.

Fast-tracking of the Rome-Cartersville Development Corridor was a top issue. Officials have settled on a design to widen U.S. 411 to Interstate 75 but construction funding has been pushed back to 2027.

Rome City Schools bus service also was on the table. Students have been ferried through the city transit service for 35 years but a state audit last year has said it’s not an eligible use of the program.

Also, a SPLOST earmark to extend the runway at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport appears to have fallen short of the actual cost. Floyd County is seeking a grant for the balance needed.

Graves’ office helped set up meetings with the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration during the trip last week. The group also met with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., the U.S. Department of Education and the Appalachian Regional Commission.