Hattiesburg mayor attends US Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Barker goes to Washington
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 3:16 PM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDAM) - Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker has been out of town attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

According to the conference’s website, it’s an official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are estimated to be more than 1,400 such cities in the country. Each is represented in the conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.

While Barker said Hattiesburg had been involved in the Nation League of Cities in recent years, he said this was his first time attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Barker said he attended the conference to find out what other cities are doing well in order to bring it back to Hattiesburg.

He said he learned about opportunities to apply for federal funds, such as those through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law or the Inflation Reduction Act.

“I don’t want Hattiesburg to miss the moment on what federal funds are available for things like water and sewer, streets (and) other types of infrastructure that we may not even be thinking of right now,” said Barker.

The conference also allowed Barker to interface with federal agencies and officials on Capitol Hill.

“This Saturday, we will hit the sixth anniversary of the 2017 tornado, and I was afforded an opportunity to meet with folks from Homeland Security about our ongoing FEMA issues with Timburton Park and (Hattiesburg) Fire Station #2,” Barker said.

The mayor said he has learned more about the process for applying for various grants. He expects to be back in Hattiesburg Thursday night.

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