Governor says invest in infrastructure including sewer and water systems – will anyone listen?

28 Oct 2011

Governor Snyder proposed on Wednesday to upgrade our infrastructure focusing on roads, water/sewer, transit and broadband access.  All important investments to make for 21st competitiveness.  It’s interesting –  among other things, he proposes revamping the gas tax and adding a $160/per car per year registration fee to fund the necessary road improvements. 

As to water and sewer, he proposes to tap into the roughly $500 Million left from the 2002 $1 Billion bond approved by the voters to protect water quality.  (This report says $654 Million but $140 Million of that was allocated to the 201 cleanup program – perhaps a somewhat surprising miscommunication).   This makes sense but it is going to take a lot of work to lower the barriers established in 2002 which have prevented municipalities from tapping into that money which has been sitting unclaimed for almost 9 years. 

I understand the need and the desirability of this (and even the stimulative effect it might have, putting Michigan construction workers to work) but, in the rabid anti-tax climate we have today, how likely is it that our “nice-guy” Governor can show the tough side of the “tough nerd” to get something like this through the Legislature? Color me doubtful.

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