APWA to Congress: Include infrastructure funding in future COVID-19 Aid Package

June 11, 2020
American Public Works Association has called for $500 billion over two years of federal aid for local governments, among other initiatives.

WASHINGTON, DC -- On behalf of our more than 30,000 members, the American Public Works Association (APWA) called  on Congress this week to include infrastructure investment as a key component in the next COVID-19 recovery package.

APWA members have direct oversight and responsibility for all facets of infrastructure including water, transportation, and emergency management. APWA advocates that any future legislation to combat the pandemic should include additional federal support for local governments, and recently APWA along with 170 local partner organizations specifically called for:

·        $500 billion over two years of federal aid for local governments;

·         Fair and direct funding allocations to each and every local government, with no exclusions based on population;

·         Equal funding overall for municipal governments and county governments; and

·         Maximum flexibility for the eligible use of funds to address the budget consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we seek to move the nation forward past the pandemic, investment in our nation’s critical infrastructure will be a key component, as it has been throughout our history, in boosting the economy and providing job opportunities to our citizens,” said APWA President William (Bill) Spearman, III, P.E.

As Congress works to craft the next COVID-19 recovery package, APWA urges Congress to include specific infrastructure investments for water, including Federal assistance to cover costs associated with moratoriums on water service disconnections, or reconnections of delinquent accounts, that water systems have implemented in response to the pandemic.

Additionally, APWA asks that Congress grant no, or low-interest loan funding to help support utility operations at a time when revenues are dropping dramatically;

Inclusion of strong funding for utility providers through established water infrastructure investment programs like SRFs, WIFIA, USDA Rural Development, the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI-WIIN Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, and other water infrastructure grant programs to help fuel local economic activity while simultaneously strengthening America’s infrastructure.

“Ensuring public works professionals have access to the funding necessary to pave the road to recovery is essential, especially during such a time when these investments will help to rebuild and strengthen the nation’s workforce. Infrastructure is the cornerstone upon which a successful economy, public health system and country are built, and we strongly urge direct funding allocations to these outlined infrastructure investments,” said APWA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Scott D. Grayson, CAE.

SOURCE: American Public Works Association