Cities ask president for stimulus aid earmarked for water infrastructure

The National League of Cities has called on Congress and the Administration to enact an economic stimulus package that includes a recommended $7 billion for improving and protecting the nation's water infrastructure.

WASHINGTON, DC, October 19, 2001 — The National League of Cities has called on Congress and the Administration to enact an economic stimulus package that includes a recommended $7 billion for improving and protecting the nation's water infrastructure.

National League of Cities survey of 401 cities, conducted October 5-10, found that one in three American cities reports that since September 11, their local economy, municipal revenues, and public confidence have all declined while public safety spending is up.

Detroit Mayor Dennis W. Archer, president of the National League of Cities (NLC), recommended to President Bush and Senator Tom Daschle several targets for economic stimulus, including expedited investment in the nation's water infrastructure plus funding to protect facilities and businesses from failure in local post-September 11 economies. These recommendations for economic stimulus are based on feedback from cities collected by the National League of Cities.

NLC recommends expedited federal funding of not less than $7 billion, which would create approximately 280,000 jobs over 12 months to complete water infrastructure rehabilitation and replacement projects that are ready to commence.

In addition, the NLC asked for federal action on radio-spectrum allocation for public safety communications and funding to supplement local investment in public safety since the attacks.

Citing growing concerns about anthrax attacks, Archer again pledged the support of the nation's cities and towns in ensuring homeland security. In his letters to President Bush and to Senator Daschle, Archer said, "The daily news about this new threat to American safety and security reinforces the importance of all levels of government working together to respond to challenges and risks that seemed unthinkable just six weeks ago. Please be assured that the leaders of the nation's cities and towns stand ready to support all coordinated efforts to ensure homeland security."

Among larger cities surveyed (100,000-plus population), 59 percent reported weaker economies since the Sept. 11 events. Twenty-two percent of all cities and 40 percent of the larger cities said they will seek state or federal aid to defray higher security costs.

The National League of Cities is the oldest and largest national organization representing municipal governments throughout the United States. With a membership of 1,800 cities and towns, as well as 49 state associations, NLC is a resource and advocate for 18,000 U.S. cities that serve 225 million people across the U.S. Resources for cities on domestic terrorism are available at www.nlc.org.

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