FRANKFORT, KY - Local leaders traveled to Frankfort to discuss West Kentucky priorities with state leaders Thursday. It's a part of the annual Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce legislative trip.
The group met with many members of the Governors cabinet including Transportation Secretary Jim Gray. One key issue they discussed with Gray was funding for a new terminal at Barkley Regional Airport.
"I've heard lots of conversation about the terminal and I've heard lots of advocates about the terminal and that's a healthy thing in a democratic process to have advocates and I can tell you that it certainly has gotten my attention and I believe that the Governor has heard about this project as well," said Gray.
Economic development was also a topic of discussion. Commissioner for the cabinet for Economic Development Jeff Taylor addressed the Chamber. He said workforce development is key in landing new employers, but said it's ultimately up to local government to land those big new businesses.
"It's the squeaky wheel gets the oil type thing, you need a really good website, you need to be able to go out and call on these companies and you need to get to larger cities where the money is and get them to invest and come back and take a look at you," Taylor said. "If you don't have good collaboration between local government, then you're dead out of the gate, it's just not going to happen."
Kentucky League of Cities President and CEO JD Chaney also met with the West Kentucky group. Chaney discussed how budget problems are an issue for many cities across Kentucky and suggested amending the state constitution to allow states and local governments to collect a sales tax could help solve this problem.
The Chamber ended the day with a thank you dinner where Governor Andy Beshear was the keynote speaker.