Lexington is preparing to hire a Washington lobbying firm part time, a step normally taken by larger communities.
It's a move town leaders say will enhance efforts to get more federal aid for road improvements and water and sewer expansion.
Beltway experience and connections can give Town Hall an edge in obtaining federal aid to help pay for the demands of rapid growth, Mayor Randy Halfacresaid.
"We need a presence in Washington but we don't know the inner workings there," he said. "We need someone who knows the way around."
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One of the town's main goals is getting nearly $70 million for improvements to ease traffic congestion downtown, where three major commuter routes intersect.
Town leaders are looking mainly to federal sources for the money.
Adding a lobbyist is not a slam at the effectiveness of state members of Congress, but getting results sometimes requires extra help, town leaders said.
"You need to be able to go across the board - deal with Republicans and Democrats - to get things done," Councilman Danny Frazier said.
Columbia and West Columbia are among a dozen S.C. communities that have federal representatives, officials at the Municipal Association of South Carolina said.
Lexington - home to an estimated 16,000 people - would be among the smaller ones with a federal lobbyist.
Communities hire lobbyists to get more consideration for local projects, officials said.
"It all boils down to what they are targeting," association spokeswoman Reba Campbell said.
West Columbia spent $108,000 for such aid in the past three years to help it obtain $650,000 for police equipment, city officials said.
"We feel like it helps us immensely," city administrator Jennifer Cunningham said. "It assists you in locating more opportunities to find financial help."
West Columbia employs a firm led by Edward Kinghorn, a one-time aide to former U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond. The firm specializes in assisting municipalities and other local agencies.
Lexington is talking with a "very well-entrenched law firm" to undertake the role, Halfacre said. The price tag is undetermined, he said.
Town Hall already has a specialist on staff who focuses on finding federal and state aid. But dealing with Congress directly requires expertise difficult to provide from afar, Halfacre said.