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Trip designed to rally support for area projects

Volunteers from business, education and economic development fields are invited to join an area delegation that will travel to Madison to lobby for programs important to west central Wisconsin.

"This is our first foray into a citizen advocacy event like this," said St. Croix County Economic Development Corporation Director Bill Rubin, who is helping organize the March 8-9 trip that will involve leaders from St. Croix, Pierce and Polk counties.

The event is called United St. Croix Valley Legislative Days and is patterned after events that have proven effective for different areas of the state.

Transportation and other state-provided programs don't get support or funding overnight, and this trip is an attempt to make connections and call attention to projects that will benefit the St. Croix Valley, said Rubin.

"We'd like to feel like we have paved the way, made a difference," he said.

Appointments are being scheduled with legislators from around the state and delegation members hope to meet with cabinet secretaries as well as representatives from the governor's office, if not the governor himself.

Talking points will be:

  • the Border County Incentive Grant Program;

  • additional tax credits for the I-94 Technology Zone;

  • flexible workforce training programs;

  • high priority transportation projects, such as the west central freeway system and Hwy. 8; and

  • broadband communications enhancements.

    Rubin said the goal is to take 25 to 40 people to Madison. The cost is $75 per participant, which covers transportation, event meals and an evening reception. A block of rooms is reserved at the Best Western Inn on the Park at a discounted rate.

    Corporate sponsorships are also being sought to offset costs. Scholarship cost $250 or $500.

    Other parts of the state have been scheduling similar events in Madison for 10 to 15 years or longer, said Rubin. Those include Superior Days and the Chippewa Valley Rally.

    The trips have made an impact for those areas, said Rubin.

    "(Other areas) can document when these trips have literally created realities, programs and successes for them," he said.

    To obtain a corporate sponsorship form or individual registration form, call the St. Croix County EDC at 381-4383. The sign-up deadline is Jan. 31.

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