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Intermodal group may bring Congressional leader to Fort Smith area

The Regional Intermodal Transportation Authority announced at its Wednesday (June 11) that it may soon host a meeting between legislators and private sector businesses in its attempt to secure funding for a new inland port along the Arkansas River.

According to Mat Pitsch, intermodal project manager for the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District, consultants hired by WAPDD for a three month, $20,100 contract have tentatively secured the attendance of U.S. Rep. William Shuster, a Pennsylvania Congressman who serves as chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

"They (the Normandy Group) got the head of the House transportation (committee) to give them a couple of dates where he'd entertain coming to the area," Pitsch said.

The final date for the meeting, Pitsch said, would not be revealed publicly until members of the Arkansas and Oklahoma congressional delegations could confirm their ability to attend.

If a date would work out for Shuster and the local delegations, Pitsch said the committee chair would be the keynote for the conference, which will see attendance from municipal, county, regional, state and federal officials, in addition to private sector business leaders.

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