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Lobbyists promoting Washington Township road project tout success in securing federal funds

October 16, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

Representatives of Delta Development Group Inc. addressed the Washington Township (Pa.) Supervisors on Wednesday and touted their track record for funding transportation initiatives like the major road project proposed west of Waynesboro.

"I think we bring a perspective from all 75 members of our team. I'm very proud of our team and the work we've done," said Coleen M. Terry, who works in public funding for Delta Development Group of Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Township Manager Mike Christopher previously said the Delta Development Group had all 16 of its projects funded in the last federal transportation bill. The supervisors asked the lobbyists to explain how they could obtain federal money to extend Washington Township Boulevard from Pa. 316 to Pa. 16 west of Waynesboro - an effort that would require construction of a 1,000-foot bridge over the West Branch of Antietam Creek.

"Why do we need $200,000 for your services? Could it be done internally?" Supervisor Stephen Kulla asked, referring to the consultants' possible 18- to 24-month contract.

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Terry and Mark T. Carmel, government relations director, said Development Delta Group's $9,000 monthly fee could be negotiated, but did not discuss specific amounts.

Terry and Carmel said the consultants have relationships with members of Congress and their aides.

The consultant would examine the scope of work, establish support from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, develop a common message of economic impact and community development, and go to meetings in Washington, D.C., next January or February.

Estimates are that $450 billion of federal transportation money will be dolled out next fall, Carmel said.

"I really was shocked we were considering paying a company $216,000. ... I really think if we're going to do grant funds, we should do it ourselves, (within) the township," said William Prince, a resident of Old Mill Road.

Christopher said earlier this month that federal dollars could be matched with 10 percent local contributions and 10 percent PennDOT money to extend Washington Township Boulevard.

The supervisors thanked Terry and Carmel for their time, but offered no indication of when they would decide whether to use the consultants' services. Kulla suggested getting cost estimates from other lobbying groups.

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