During the Governor’s annual budget presentation to a joint meeting of the Senate and House Appropriations committees on Wednesday, he announced that the administration’s focus for the next several months would not only be on Flint and the problems surrounding the city’s lead-tainted water and pipes, but on the state’s entire underground infrastructure.
The Governor and the entire Legislature are finally coming to terms with the fact that the crisis we are currently facing in one city has the potential to evolve into a statewide situation, if proper underground investment is not made a top priority. The current crisis is the tip of the iceberg and, as more research is done in other areas of the state, it is likely that additional problems will present themselves.
The Governor made a very strong push for continued underground infrastructure investment to become a statewide focus, going far beyond the $28 million the Legislature voted on last week, specifically stating that he wants to allocate an additional $195 million toward replacing the underground infrastructure in Flint, as well as another $165 million toward an underground infrastructure fund to address the state’s aging water infrastructure.
This is a huge piece of news for the industry, as it is clear that serious action will be following all of the recent talk about appropriating necessary funds to the looming statewide underground crisis. MITA staff has met with the Legislature and the administration to highlight the major and important underground needs across the state for many years, and more recently, has discussed various ideas on how to help fund our entire state’s underground infrastructure.
The Governor’s push during the budget presentation is definitely the beginning of a long and serious investment journey in underground infrastructure throughout Michigan. MITA will be closely monitoring and participating in this process as it unfolds. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs, at email@example.com. They can also be reached at 517-347-8336.