More Funding for Infrastructure Means Broadband, Water/Sewer Improvements and Jobs

With the American Rescue Plan Act that passed in March, the Treasury Department has begun to set aside $350 billion in emergency funds for qualifying states, local and tribal governments. Among other things, Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds can be used to support public health costs, ameliorate the negative socio-economic effects of the past year, and perhaps most importantly, invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

Broadband infrastructure investments are particularly timely after a year that saw dramatic increases in both remote work and overall data usage. According to American City & County, over 30 million Americans currently do not have access to high-speed internet, especially in rural areas. Even in places where access is available, some customers face exorbitant costs as an additional hurdle. The hope is that these investments will bring rural communities up to par with larger cities that have already implemented similar programs.

Investments in water and sewer infrastructure are also incredibly overdue. As noted in Governing, a 2016 EPA survey concluded that $271 billion was needed over the next five years to improve and maintain America’s 1.3 million miles of combined public and private sewers. Five years later, not much has changed, except that the wastewater industry needs skilled workers as more and more employees retire. Not only can these recovery funds be used to improve the gargantuan American sewer system, help ensure clean drinking water, and bolster public health efforts, but provide plenty of high-paying jobs in the process.

Despite the increase in federal spending over the last year, this current round of emergency funds has the potential to help bring many lagging American cities into the 21st century, revitalize some important industries, and hopefully assist communities that have been devastated in the wake of the pandemic. For more information about funding requests and eligibility for your town, check out the US Department of the Treasury’s official website.

Share This Post:

This entry was posted in City Clerk Cafe, Latest News, Small Cities, Utility Billing. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.