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Mayor-elect Harris new secretary of Heartland Pkwy Foundation

Mayor-elect Mark D. Harris will be secretary of the Board of the Heartland Parkway Foundation, succeeding Mayor Pat Bell in the position

By Linda Waggener

Columbia mayor-elect Mark Harris was inducted as a member of the board of directors of the Heartland Parkway Foundation at its meeting in Columbia last week where he accepted the secretarial duties of outgoing Mayor Pat Bell.

John Chowning, foundation chairman, updated the mayor along with board members Sue Stivers, Columbia-Adair County tourism director, and Ron McMahan, executive director of Team Taylor County, on the proposed four-lane corridor from the Louie B. Nunn Parkway in Columbia to the Bluegrass Parkway in Washington County.

Chowning told the incoming Columbia mayor, "The Foundation needs your active and strong support of the project as we work across county boundaries to build support for the Heartland Parkway over the next few years."

Once built, the Heartland Parkway will provide relief to both I-65 and I-75, serving as a north/south connector with the future I-66 route along the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway. It will facilitate economic development and tourism in an annual amount above $2 billion according to an early study quoted by McMahan.

"I will do everything I can as mayor," Harris said, "to help make the Heartland Parkway a reality and bring more jobs and tourism to Columbia and Adair County."

McMahan said, "The Heartland Parkway is as much a business retention effort as it is an expansion effort. Improving our four-lane highway access is more important now than ever. It's very difficult to attract a company to consider a new location further than 11 miles from an interstate interchange."

Chowning said, "Priorities in 2011 includes supporting efforts toward funding for the phase two engineering design on the Columbia-Campbellsville portion of the project. In each of our counties, we will begin to secure letters in 2011 from local governments, businesses and economic development interests in support of the parkway. With the county leaders working together we will bring awareness to the economic impact of the project to officials in Frankfort and Washington, on both sides of the political aisle.

"The Heartland Parkway Foundation Inc., a nonprofit corporation with tax exempt status, was formed to educate the public and build sustained support for the proposed 60-mile Heartland Parkway Project, " said Chowning, who also serves as Campbellsville University vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president. To get involved in the project, contact Chowning at (270)789-5520 or writer, Linda Waggener, is sales and marketing director for Campbellsville University

This story was posted on 2010-12-21 15:00:09
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Heartland Parkway Foundation group meets in Columbia, KY

2010-12-21 - Photo by Linda Waggener. Cafe on the Square, 212 Public SQ, Columbia, KY
John Chowning, left, chairman of the Heartland Parkway Foundation; met with Columbia mayor-elect Mark Harris, second from left; and Heartland Parkway Board Members Sue Stivers, Columbia-Adair County tourism director; and Ron McMahan, at right, director of Team Taylor County; in Columbia last week. Harris accepted the foundation's secretarial duties of outgoing Mayor Pat Bell. (Campbellsville University Photo by Linda Waggener)

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