Behind the scenes of Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to Savannah

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Right before the Savannah St. Patrick's Day Parade made its way to City Hall, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife made an appearance on the balcony.

They were alongside Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach and Congressman Buddy Carter.

The mayor provided an exclusive behind the scenes look at what all went into the vice president's visit.

The balcony used to be tiled but they put down the red carpet for Pence's visit. They also strategically marked where everyone would stand, including the VP, the mayor and Congressman Carter.

The mayor says the most challenging part was making sure Pence could interact with the crowd. He says there was some discussion about Pence addressing the crowd and giving remarks from the balcony, but the city said they couldn't afford it.

"There was talk about a microphone, speakers and all of that kind of stuff. And I said we just can't spend that kind of money. It was just way over what we felt like we should spend. And so, we told them we just couldn't do that. We just had to nix that," Mayor DeLoach said.

Of course, the vice president was able to interact with paradegoers when he walked a portion of the parade route through Johnson and Wright squares.

In the few hours that Vice President Pence was in town, he briefly met with military leaders when he landed and then went straight to city hall.

The mayor says he - along with Rep. Carter - stressed the importance of getting more money into the President's 2018 budget for the Savannah Harbor Deepening Project.

Right now, the project is getting $50 million in federal funds but the project needs $35 million more to stay on track.

The mayor says he hopes Pence's visit could play a role in getting more money.

"We just can't delay this anymore and we want to make sure he knows our concern about that and he does. I feel confident that it will be in this appropriations bill and we'll be able to get the funds to get it done whenever they come out with this appropriations bill," Mayor DeLoach said.

The project just reached its half-way mark. It's slated to be completed by 2021. It's unclear when we will know if more federal funding is added to the president's 2018 budget.

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