PADUCAH - A group of local business men and women, elected leaders and others arrived Sunday evening in the nation's capital. The annual D.C. Fly-In is organized by the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce. The group advocates on behalf of Paducah-McCracken County for federal money to help fund local projects.

Scheduled are important face-to-face meetings with key representatives from the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, as well as, scheduled meetings with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Rand Paul and U.S. Rep. James Comer.

Paducah Chamber President Sandra Wilson will again lead the delegation of 40 plus people to our nation's capitol. 

"We are so ready to be back in person in D.C. We have a strong, powerful group. We have a great list of priorities. We will be talking to them about everything that's important  about our community and what's going on here," Wilson said.

In 2020 COVID-19 forced the group to stay in Paducah and hold meetings remotely.

"And just having that face-to-face interaction is priceless," Wilson added.

This year's list of priority projects includes a request for upgrades to the Paducah-McCracken County Riverport. A roughly $4 million grant request to modernize handling equipment on site.  Enhancements that would ultimately benefit our area's four state region.

"The Riverport has applied for a grant that would help them with some large pieces of equipment that they need to stay sustainable," Wilson said.

The group will also tout Paducah's Arts District when meeting with representatives of the National Endowment for the Arts.

"Our arts organizations, and including our city, have all benefited getting grants through the National Endowment for the Arts. Fifty-thousand here, $20,000 here, it all begins to add up, and it's a big deal to help some of our non-profit arts organizations," Wilson said.

And to thank those who helped secure federal grant money for the historic Hotel Metropolitan. 

"With a non-profit organization like the Hotel Metropolitan, makes a big difference to help them restore part of their programming," Wilson said.

Also on tap is a meeting with the U.S. Travel Association for insight into tourism post-COVID.

"We thrive off tourism in Paducah-McCracken County just to understand a little bit more about how fast we think travel might come back. Especially international travel. That's very important to our Quilt Show," Wilson said.

Important conversations 800 miles away to benefit your community.