Infrastructure - Iowa Chamber Alliance

Infrastructure

Economic development happens where infrastructure is available to serve the needs of the project. Roads and bridges, water and sewer, energy and telecommunications infrastructure all require long term, reliable investment – investment in which Iowa has dedicated minimal resources. ICA supports regular review of Iowa’s infrastructure needs at the state and local levels. We also encourage long-term planning and examination of innovative funding mechanisms, such as public-private partnerships and alternative project delivery methods that protect taxpayers and make the necessary resources available for these significant capital investments, including aligning with potential federal infrastructure initiatives.


As programs such as the Iowa Reinvestment Act and the Flood Mitigation Program undertakings near completion, we encourage the state to think about the next large transformative investment in multiple communities across the state. This includes pushing for policies that support financing these projects and providing the legal framework for projects that cross jurisdictional lines at the state, county, and city levels.

Water

Aging infrastructure and mandated improvements have the potential to increase rates for the provision of water and wastewater service. Affordable rates and the capacity for growth are key elements in attracting and retaining businesses. ICA continues to support additional funding sources and flexible policies that sufficiently address necessary water infrastructure improvements in the future, which register in the billions of dollars 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 up-grades for water infrastructure.

Transportation

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


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

Air service has the potential for an outsized impact in the attraction and retention of economic opportunities. At a minimum, the state should partner with communities to sustain current funding and service levels. In terms of future growth, there are substantial resources needed to upgrade our airport infrastructure.

Connectivity

ICA recognizes that access to broadband can bridge gaps for any community to have a far more impactful reach in the 21st Century. Broadband investment should 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 that is geared toward the future, not the past. Iowa needs to undertake a concerted effort to attract broadband investment, regardless of platform, from local, regional, and national providers, in order to put in place the broadband infrastructure necessary for our economic future.

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