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Posted on May 14, 2015 at 5:32 p.m. by Jeff Hill
It’s infrastructure week and as the spotlight shines on our nation’s infrastructure crisis – deteriorating roads, bridges and highways throughout the country -- leaders are gathered in Washington seeking solutions.
The costly maintenance and repair of aging infrastructure is an issue that cities and towns everywhere are facing, and Fishers is not exempt. While the list of infrastructure needs grows, the funds for repairs continue to fall short.
Local government entities are receiving significantly less revenue from the Motor Vehicle Highway (MVH) fund for road projects than in years past. The MVH fund is financed primarily by the gas tax, which saw its last increase more than 20 years ago in 1993. Couple this with regulations requiring more fuel-efficient vehicles, and this gap in revenue needed will continue to grow.
Many states have turned to local option tax increases to make ends meet; others have created other funding sources including toll roads, speed and/or red light cameras and even lottery funds. In Indiana, different financing mechanisms are being discussed and considered, but in the meantime, cities and towns are challenged to find creative solutions to fill the infrastructure funding gap.
In order to keep up with infrastructure needs in Fishers and fill the funding gap, we’ve been aggressive in securing federal funds for transportation projects. The 2015 budget includes $17.3 million dollars in federal grants we’ve been awarded for road and trail projects that will be completed over the next three to five years.
In 2015, more than $1.7 million in federal grants will help fund the following projects:
Beyond 2015, $22.5 million in federal grants will help fund the following projects:
To become an even more vibrant city, we’re working diligently to ensure that our older neighborhoods are tended to and well-kept even as construction and growth happens in new neighborhoods. Moreover, we’re not just repairing aging infrastructure, but we’re also working to proactively anticipate and address upcoming needs in our community.
While we’re still working to identify a local revenue source that will allow us to invest the necessary $3 million a year in our roads in maintenance alone, we’ve been able to secure enough in federal grants to begin planning and construction on several major projects in our community – without a tax implication to residents.
Tag(s): Jeff Hill, Infrastructure Week, Infrastructure Funding Gap, Federal Transportation Funding
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