Hawkeye State Continues Advocacy Efforts

In yet another effort to press Congress on the importance of passing a multi-year surface transportation bill, Wendling Quarries Inc. accepted the NSSGA’s grassroots advocacy challenge and hosted Rep. Rod Blum, R-IA-1, for an Aug. 21 tour of the C.R. South Quarry in Cedar Rapids, Ia. Employees of Wendling Quarries, L.L. Pelling asphalt paving company and Manatt’s Inc. discussed with Blum their frustration with the proposed Water of the U.S. rule that will go into effect Aug. 28 and the negative effects it will have on their businesses and state-wide infrastructure projects. The group also took time to drive home the message that Congress must act to pass a multi-year highway bill. 

Tony Manatt, president of Wendling Quarries, said that the congressman left with a better understanding of how the aggregates industry contributes to local communities and infrastructure projects as well as the industry’s recycling abilities. Rep. Blum talked with local media after the meeting and stressed the importance of passing  long-term surface transportation reauthorization and safeguarding the growth of the aggregates industry. Watch that video here.  

“We appreciated the opportunity to have time with Congressman Blum to educate him on our operations and show him why our quality jobs are so important to Iowa,” Manatt said. “The transportation needs of Iowa continue to grow, yet short-term extensions of highway bills don’t allow us to hire more employees, buy new equipment or plan for the future. Along those lines, Departments of Transportation hesitate to invest in infrastructure projects if they are unsure of the availability of federal dollars from the Highway Trust Fund to defray costs.”

With more than a week left in this congressional recess, there is still time for members to arrange a facility or project tour like this with their members of Congress. For information about setting up your next tour or meeting, visit www.aggregatesinaction.org.

Have you recently hosted a congressman or senator? Let NSSGA know! Pictures and intel gathered by members gives NSSGA the information and tools to effectively educate Congress on issues affecting the aggregates industry.

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