LaHood touts tourism, international trade during visit to Quincy
QUINCY -- U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood has pledged to see if there are federal funds to help with a boat dock if the community goes forward with the project.
LaHood met with Mayor Kyle Moore on Wednesday on the Quincy riverfront to hear details of a dock at Clat Adams Park that would allow riverboats and other tourists to visit the city.
Moore said the Quincy Park District has until December to move forward with a ballot issue in April. If approved by taxpayers, the district would spend up to $4 million on the dock. The Quincy City Council and Adams County Board would then be asked to contribute $1 million each toward the project. City funds might come from the Tax Increment Finance District that supports downtown development.
LaHood, a Republican from Dunlap, is well acquainted with the riverfront upgrades done in Peoria.
"Now a lot of people dock their boats and go to meals or learn about Peoria's history," LaHood said.
A national infrastructure plan is expected to get attention in Congress after November's election. That's one possible source of funds for the dock, but there are other grant programs that might help as well.
Moore said LaHood told him the city must get "plans put together and a concrete vision for our riverfront" to have a chance at funding.
"We kneed to know the time line it will take to get things done and know what the economic impact will be for the community," Moore said.
LaHood also greeted word that President Donald Trump's administration will enter trade negotiations with Japan, the United Kingdom and the European Union.
"Yesterday's announcement is welcome news for farmers, manufacturers and businesses of all sizes in Central and West-Central Illinois. As I have stated time and time again, free trade is vital to the economic prosperity in Illinois' 18th District," LaHood said.
As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, LaHood will have a chance to see any trade deals before they come before the full U.S. House.
"With 95 percent of the world's population living outside of the United States, expanding and opening markets around the world for our exporters will allow them to remain competitive in the global economy," LaHood said.