GALLIPOLIS — As part of an effort put on by Gallia County’s Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) and Ohio State Rep. Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell, Gallia County citizens and leaders are being offered the opportunity to join an initiative to visit the Ohio Statehouse to confer with state departments and leaders in order to communicate the desires and opinions of Gallia.
Gallia government leaders as well as business leaders are going to collect on a bus between 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. Wednesday at the Gallia Chamber of Commerce on State Street in Gallipolis.
Participants are expected to interface with speakers from the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Development Services Agency, the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, JobsOhio and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The event is open to the public and spaces are still open for those who wish to attend with area leaders. Costs of the trip are covered by CIC. Lunch will be provided. The bus will leave the Ohio Statehouse by 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and is expected to return to Gallipolis around 4 p.m.
Those who wish to attend should contact Michelle Miller at the Gallia Chamber of Commerce at 740-446-0596. Reservations will no longer be taken after Monday.
According to CIC President Jim Wiseman, the CIC is meant to improve the Gallia County community through various efforts. The CIC owns and maintains the industrial park out in the Bidwell region. The group often promotes the starting and moving of businesses into Gallia County. Oftentimes, the group will help fund projects with local businesses.
“The trip gets people involved and gets our community leaders to interface with the state,” said Wiseman. “Without Ryan (Smith’s) Office bending over backwards we wouldn’t have been able to get this going to meet with the state level.”
Smith said his office was always excited to get individuals within his district to partake in state meetings.
“It gives citizens the chance to directly ask questions and it’s great to hear from the state,” Smith said. “It gives people the chance to meet directly with agency heads and helps communicate Gallia’s needs with our state leaders.”
Smith said that it’s generally the job of state representatives to communicate local needs to the state but an initiative like this allows Gallia residents a front row chance to address state government.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.