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Chamber of Commerce Highlights Airport Funding on 2017 Agenda

Columbia Chamber of Commerce

Securing money for an expanding Columbia Regional Airport is a top priority for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, according to an announcement from the chamber on Wednesday.

Advocating for “funding that will benefit the airport and new terminal construction” was on the Chamber of Commerce’s first-ever local agenda. The chamber unveiled the list of objectives at its annual Mayor’s Appreciation Breakfast in Columbia Wednesday.

Voters approved a hotel tax hike to help fund airport expansion in August. Columbia Mayor Brian Treece says the rest of the funding could come from several different sources, including from the state legislature and through federal grant money.

Treece says funding the airport expansion “would be catalytic for our economy when it comes to creating good-paying jobs” and boosting the number of travelers who can visit Columbia.

Rusty Strodtman, the chair of the Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, says he agrees with Treece that airport funding would be an “economic engine,” and says it is important city government and his organization team up on finding funding.