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Becker gets ‘face to face’ in D.C.

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Ralph Becker

Ralph Becker

WASHINGTON — Transportation projects, homeland security money and new conservation grants were all on Mayor Ralph Becker's agenda as he visited Washington this week.

Becker met with members of the Utah congressional delegation or their staffs as well as staff of congressional committees and at the Homeland Security Department, he told the Deseret News.

Becker's goal was to "keep in front" of the decision makers.

"It's good to meet face to face," he said.

Becker discussed money for bikeways as well as funding for preserving Fisher Mansion in his meetings on the Hill.

At the Homeland Security Department, Becker learned about grant opportunities now that Salt Lake City has qualified for an Urban Area Security Initiative Grant. Becker and Salt Lake City's lobbyist Len Simon of Simon and Co. said they were not able to learn many details about how the department deems a city eligible for the grants.

Becker also discussed the new Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. Through a bill passed last year, Salt Lake City could get up to $1 million a year for the next five years, but the act still needs funding. Becker and other mayors are pushing for Congress to provide the money for the grants that could help the city with environmentally friendly programs.

Becker said he will likely come back to Washington in May or June as well as for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

E-mail: suzanne@desnews.com