AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Mayor Garnett Johnson’s visit to Washington was filled with meetings and- most notably, he says- a wealth of examples in what he plans for Augusta.

“It was a very – what I consider- productive week, in that I got the opportunity to not only engage with my colleagues from across the country regardless of their city size,” said Mayor Johnson. “I’m realizing that we have a lot of problems that are similar, but we learned a lot about the resources that, of course, our federal government offers that benefit our cities and cities like Augusta.”

During the conference, Mayor Johnson found a session about public-private partnerships to be deeply informative on how to create opportunity for Augusta.

“We have a lot of needs,” said Johnson. “Most importantly, I heard one about everything from sidewalks to airport construction projects. So, I want to kind of learn how we can partner with someone who is willing to invest from the private sector to help move Augusta forward.”

For Mayor Johnson, the advocacy demonstrated by the U. S. Conference of Mayors is promising.

“Cities were given the ability to be a part of the American Rescue Plan dollars,” said Mayor Johnson. “They were forceful and vocal in that some of that funding should flow directly to cities. So, we look at cities like Augusta- we received some 83 million dollars directly, instead of it going to the state and then being funneled down. So, I see that advocacy as important.”

With his sights set on moving Augusta forward, Mayor Johnson found it invaluable to have a seat at the table in Washington with fellow decision makers.

“It’s just great to know that we’re plugged in at all levels to make sure that we receive the funding that’s necessary for Augusta to move forward,” said Johnson. “Important things like our lock and dam… so many important issues. So, I’m just proud to be representing the city and making sure our voices are heard, to make sure that we’re represented.”

Mayor Jonson says he recognizes where there are needs in Augusta and he looks forward to using the valuable ideas he learned in Washington to meet them.