21st Century Infrastructure Commission Holds First Meeting

The newly formed 21st Century Infrastructure Commission held its first meeting on April 21, 2016 where the direction and groundwork was laid out by Governor Rick Snyder and Chairman Evan Weiner. The meeting primarily focused on getting to know the individuals on the Commission and their thoughts and goals for their time serving on the Commission. The Governor has laid out an aggressive timeline and specific tasks to establish a structured plan on how we move Michigan’s infrastructure forward now and for many years to come.

The main action item of the initial meeting was to lay out the five separate sub-groups that will be working separately from the Commission and to establish the participants of each sub-group. Those groups are: Michigan Transportation System Assessment and Needs; Michigan Water, Sewer, Stormwater, and Drainage Assessment and Needs; Michigan Electric and Gas Assessment and Needs; Michigan Communications Assessment and Needs; and Funding and Policy Framework. Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President of MITA, is the only commissioner who will serve on more than one sub-group. He has been appointed to the Michigan Transportation System Assessment and Needs group, as well as the Michigan Water, Sewer, Stormwater, and Drainage Assessment and Needs group.

Attached you will find the tentative breakdown for each month and the action items for each meeting. As you can see, there will be some heavy lifting, but there will also be some help along the way. In addition to the Governor’s staff and various commissioners’ staff, an outside consulting firm will be assisting the Commission, as well as putting together information for each group to help them with their individual reports. As former United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said at the previous meeting, “This report can be like many other reports and collect dust on a shelf, or this report can be a model for the other 49 states.”

At the next Commission meeting, Mike Nystrom has been asked to present on the Water Infrastructure Investment Needs Report that was prepared for MITA by Public Sector Consultants. That report showed, among other things, an annual investment need of up to $563 million to maintain our clean drinking water in Michigan. Our report will be one of the first of its kind to analyze the entire state’s needs for clean drinking water, something very timely given the current crisis in Flint.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President, at mikenystrom@mi-ita.com, or Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs, at lancebinoniemi@mi-ita.com. They can also be reached at 517-347-8336.