Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor said: "I really believe this is an education component and a job creating component for our area."
July 14, 2004
Albany-- Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor's trip comes just a day before a planned visit by Governor Perdue, who held up money needed to finish the project.
Taylor was impressed with the $25 million Riverquarium, but he has no control over whether the governor will hand over the $1.4 million needed to complete construction. Still, Taylor says he'll do whatever it takes to convince the governor this is a worthwhile project.
Taylor says he's fought for the Riverquarium for 10 years and won't stop until the project is complete. "Lawmakers have done their work. They appropriated the $1.4 million. Now it's totally within the Governor's purview as Chief Executive Officer and as Chief Budget Officer to decide if those funds will be released or not."
There's been no construction on the Riverquarium since July 7th, when Holden construction stopped work, fearing the money would not be released.
Taylor is optimistic the Governor will hand over the money after visiting the Riverquarium Thursday. "We hope after he sees the project, sees the community support, sees the magnitude of the investment we've already made as a state, that he'll release those much need funds."
"I really believe this is an education component and a job creating component for our area."
If Governor Perdue does that, construction could resume almost immediately. "They told us they can remobilize within a week. Holden is very attuned with what's going on." said Albany Tomorrow Incorporated President Tommy Chatmon.
Despite Taylor's political weight across the state, it's Governor Perdue who'll decide this much needed funding for the Riverquarium will sink or swim.
Governor Perdue is expected to tour the Riverquarium at 10:45 Thursday morning.