Hiring lobbyists has paid off many times over

Published 2:18 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2023

One of the best moves City of Natchez and Adams County elected officials have made in recent memory was coming together in September 2020 and contracting with Watkins and Eager and former Congressman Gregg Harper to lobby for our needs among the state legislature and in Congress.

In three short years, Harper and his associates have been directly responsible for bringing in just shy of $10 million in grant dollars or government appropriations for Natchez and Adams County projects.

Gregg Harper is someone who has incredibly valuable relationships in Jackson and in Washington, D.C. To have him working daily to speak on behalf of the needs of Natchez and Adams County residents is an incredible asset.

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Harper served Mississippi as a Republican U.S. representative for the state’s third congressional district for more than a decade, ending in 2019. His relationships in Washington are current and relevant. He has been able to guide Natchez and Adams County officials about strategic steps to take to secure money for a myriad of projects, like the bulk of the funding for Morgantown Road, securing $1 million for the completion of the Belwood Levee, $572,928 for the Natchez-Adams County Airport runway project, and almost $1 million to the National Park Service for the Forks of the Road project.

Harper and his team are far from done. They have secured almost $3 million for Natchez and Adams County in the federal fiscal year 2024 budget, though those projects are held up temporarily perhaps in the current budget fray in Congress.

Having the help of Gregg Harper and his associates is more important now than ever, particularly in the current fiscal situation the Adams County Board of Supervisors put itself in. Having Harper working to find any funding that could help the county with a number of projects is much needed.

Hiring Harper and his firm costs the city and county each roughly $60,000 per year. That’s money well spent. In fact, it’s money we cannot afford not to spend.