Transportation, Infrastructure & Communications - Iowa Chamber Alliance

Transportation, Infrastructure & Communications

Iowa’s critical infrastructure continues to have significant needs for updating and investment. High quality and reliable infrastructure is central to economic growth. Roads and bridges, water and sewer, energy and communications infrastructure require long term, reliable investment. The Iowa Chamber Alliance supports regular review of Iowa’s infrastructure needs at the state and local levels and encourages long-term planning and examination of innovative funding mechanisms to make the necessary resources available for these significant capital investments.

Water

Infrastructure in Iowa related to water, waste water and storm water is a critical Infrastructure in Iowa related to water, waste water, and storm water is a critical element to economic development. Aging infrastructure and mandated improvements can lead to increased rates for the provision of water and wastewater service. Affordable rates and capacity for growth is a key element in attracting and retaining businesses for communities across Iowa.

The Iowa Chamber Alliance continues to support additional funding sources and flexible policies to sufficiently address needed water infrastructure improvements in the future. The current infrastructure needs for aging technology and collection systems register in the billions across the state. Additional resources should include establishing access to capital at scale to address the more than $1.5 billion needed for point sources to implement the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy along with other maintenance and upgrades for water infrastructure.

Iowa should also utilize flexible regulatory policies to foster continued development of partnerships between rural and urban interests. Communities across the state are making investments into their watersheds to improve water quality, lessen the risks of flooding, spur economic development and increase habitat. The challenges faced are complex but those challenges move across political boundaries so the state should continue to cultivate watershed-based projects as a catalyst for improved water quality.

Roads

With an appropriately funded Road Use Tax Fund (RUTF) in place, the Alliance encourages a continued conversation about the long-term funding needs in order to sustain Iowa’s transportation infrastructure. Additionally, the Alliance reiterates its call for a reexamination of the distribution of those dollars to more closely follow the TIME-21 formula.

The Alliance also supports investment in the improvement of Iowa’s railways and funding of intermodal rail and transportation hubs. The Alliance also remains committed to leveraging federal dollars to invest in passenger rail and other strategic transportation infrastructure.

Broadband

The Iowa Chamber Alliance recognizes the important role broadband plays in supporting Iowa’s economic growth in the 21st Century.

Broadband investment ought to be pursued as aggressively as any other targeted industry – through a positive business climate, competitive tax treatment, appropriate incentives and a light-touch regulatory posture geared toward the future, not the past. Iowa needs to undertake a concerted effort to attract broadband investment, regardless of platform, from local to regional to national providers, in order to put in place the broadband infrastructure for our economic future. Iowa’s efforts to attract this investment needs to address funding of the Connect Every Acre grant program, additional incentives, and the adoption of a regulatory climate that encourages private investment.

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