WASHINGTON D.C. (KLFY) – The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs hosted a Regional State Leadership Day.
Local elected officials from a number of states were invited to attend, including one mayor from Acadiana.
Youngsville Mayor Ken Ritter says he was fortunate for an invitation to D.C., As part of the White Houses’ outreach to local community elected officials.
His main reason going, to discuss his city’s continuing recovery effort from the 2016 flood.
“Most importantly, it was an open dialogue so that way we can communicate and that we can share what our goals are, so that they could be implemented on the federal level,” said Mayor Ken Ritter of Youngsville.
He says he was specifically focused on discussing a number of key issues related to his city, including…
“Our continuing recovery efforts from the 2016 flood event,” said Ritter.
Ritter says after the 2016 flood, hazardous mititgation grant dollars became available, and Youngsville was awarded nearly 30%, of that roughly $25 million that were available.
“However, we have to put up the 25% match, which is the design and the construction of the detention ponds. That we know, once constructed, will effectively lower the base flood elevation in Youngsville,” said the Mayor.
He says his city has made great strides to make sure that the federal grant money the city was awarded, has been well spent.
“Now we’re trying to take it a step further and get the local match which was required, which is 25% taken care of. In addition to providing feedback on how the application and approval process can be streamlined for communities that may go through a similar disaster in the future,” said Ritter.
Just by being present and meeting with top Cabinet members, he believes it’s putting Youngsville on the map.
“I was proud to represent Youngsville at the White House, and I’m honored that President Trump and his team are concerned about the thoughts of those in the heartland,” said Ritter.
He did not get the opportunity to meet with the President, due to Mr. Trump’s schedule.
A number of other mayors from Louisiana, including from Grand Isle, Covington, Patterson and Jean Lafitte were in attendance as well.
Ritter says he was very encouraged the Administration reached out to local elected officials like himself, and hopes to keep an open dialogue in the future.