Finding ways to finance infrastructure projects

Source: Meredith Zona, American City and County, October 18, 2012

For many local government officials across the United States, the question isn’t where to spend money, but what to cut, and many of those cuts have come from infrastructure spending. Cities and counties are spending less on schools, roadways, sewer and water systems than they have in decades. In fact, municipal infrastructure spending alone is down by nearly 30 percent since 2009, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Those cuts are likely to have far-reaching implications such as undermining public health and safety as roadways, drinking water and sewage systems continue to deteriorate.

However, money is available for infrastructure improvements. In fact, since the beginning of the recession in 2008, both the federal government and individual states have taken an active role in assuring that funds are available for all types of projects. And, even though the flow of funds has slowed over the past year or two, numerous sources of financial assistance for infrastructure projects exist. The problem is that many municipal managers just don’t know where to look for those funds.

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