Albany Dougherty Day puts pressure on projects - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany Dougherty Day puts pressure on projects

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February 18, 2004

Atlanta - Wednesday was Albany Dougherty day at the state capitol. City and county leaders, students and even animals showed up, h owever, tough words from those behind the budget left some of them disappointed. Lawmakers say there's not enough money for every deserving project

Every group has their needs at the capitol, the problem is the money just isn't there. Lt. Governor Mark Taylor explains, "It's my understanding, right now, there are not any projects included in the House budget for any item having to do with Albany and Dougherty County."

Albany Dougherty Day is a celebration in Atlanta, but it's also time to make sure lawmakers hear the important issues on south Georgian's minds.  Darton College student, Jennifer Godwin, says, "Right now, Darton is looking to expand our campus, that's one thing we've been talking about."

Albany State University and Albany Technical College students also got off the bus to get money. Taylor adds, "Darton College has been waiting the longest and it is very high up on the regents list. I thought it would have been funded in the house, at this point it has not been and I hope that it will be."

The budget is so tight, the Lt. Governor told south Georgia leaders they'll have to pick one project to focus on funding. Chamber of Commerce Director, Tim Martin, says, "We are pushing agenda items and we're expecting to be successful."

Albany Tomorrow needs more money for the Albany Riverfront Project. For the first time, director Tommy Chatmon asked Lt. Governor for two more million dollars. Martin adds, "That's not a new thing, but it may be a shifting of priorities."

Meanwhile, Parks at Chehaw trotted into Atlanta to nibble on the budget too. Looks like the animals will have to crawl to the end of the funding list. Chehaw Director, Glenn Dobrogosz, says, "That's tough, one project out of then great projects, but from Chehaw's prospective, we'll always be there, we'll keep plugging it. Our innovative ideas will always be out in the public eye and we'll never stop." Neither will any of the other ambassadors.

As far as the Riverfront Project, State Representative Lawrence Roberts, suggested the city and county borrow two million dollars and hope the state will them back.

posted at 11:05PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com