MACo January 2015 Winter Conference Panel Highlights Importance of Infrastructure

MACo January 2015 winter conference attendees heard about the importance of infrastructure investment and why it should be a key priority at the general session “Making Public Infrastructure the People’s Priority.”

United States Representative (District 6) John Delaney noted that the American Society of Civil Engineers has given the United States a D+ grade for infrastructure.  He noted the cost to bring our infrastructure to a passing grade (A or B) is approximately $3-4 trillion dollars.  He stressed the importance of infrastructure as critical to global connectedness and competitiveness and as a quality of life issue.  He stated investment in infrastructure provides almost a 2 to 1 return and can be a significant jobs creator.  Delaney also discussed his bi-partisan efforts to create an infrastructure fund and reform our international tax system.  He also briefly discussed the challenges facing the federal transportation trust fund.

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Congressman Delaney discusses infrastructure at MACo January 2015 Winter Conference

National Association of Counties (NACo) Second Vice President Bryan Desloge highlighted infrastructure needs for flood levies and water mains.  He discussed the efforts of the NACo to secure a long-term sustainable infrastructure funding source at the federal level.

Dr. Memo Diriker, Director of the Business Economic and Community Outreach Network at Salisbury University, highlighted two ongoing problems related to infrastructure:  (1) poor stewardship of taxpayer dollars despite best efforts; and (2) lack of modernity of our physical and technological infrastructure systems.  He proposed aggressive review of funding and cost decisions and better education of citizens on the benefits and importance of infrastructure investment.

The panel was moderated by Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett.

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