BARSTOW City officials will travel to the nation's capitol on April 16 to advocate for community needs projects.

Mayor Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre, Councilman Tim Silva and City Manager Curt Mitchell will meet with elected representatives and government agencies to discuss an Indian casino project and First Street Bridge funding, among other things on the three-day trip, according to Assistant City Manager Oliver Chi.

"We put Barstow's face in front of our federal electives to let them know this is who we are and these are our needs," Hackbarth-McIntyre said. "It's a lot of work when we go. We go between many different appointments and it's always an educational trip because of the process."

Hackbarth-McIntyre said the group will meet with the offices of Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Rep. Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley), along with the Economic Development Agency and Federal Railroad Association. She said one of the biggest accomplishments of the trip would be to obtain more grant funding for the First Street Bridge from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

"You're lobbying for Barstow's needs but so is every city in America lobbying for their needs," Hackbarth-McIntyre said.

The finalized list of the community needs projects for 2013-14 is expected to be complete at the April 1 or 15 City Council meeting and will be made public, according to Chi. The total cost of the travel for the Mayor and Councilman Silva to visit Washington D.C. was estimated to be $3,800 and was unanimously approved by the City Council at last Monday's meeting.

"We're trying this and seeing if it makes a difference. When you're actually back there introducing yourself with all of the representatives and they get to see faces with Barstow," Hackbarth-McIntyre said.

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