Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt far and wide in our personal and professional lives. One concern of our industry is potential delay in the ability to implement critical infrastructure projects that keep our communities safe and service uninterrupted. Because of this, Congress is debating a stimulus package to support infrastructure needs (as of April 8, 2020). The current report is of a possible $2 trillion in stimulus funding for “shovel ready” projects, including water and wastewater projects.
While we don’t know the framework of the funding at this time, putting people back to work after we navigate the current pandemic will likely allow communities access to additional funding. Much like we saw in 2009 with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, utilities prepared with projects ready to move to bidding and construction will be better positioned to get funding. Some ways utilities can prepare to take advantage of any future funds include:
- Review your CIP to identify top-candidate projects to move swiftly through design.
- Work with local decision makers to achieve buy-in in projects to advance, which may include re-prioritization.
- Advance project schedules for the identified projects, so they can be “shovel ready” when the time comes to qualify for funds and be positioned for a favorable bidding climate.
Advancing identified projects could be a priority to reduce disruption in service and to position your community for favorable funding. Please contact us if there is anything we can do to help you in the steps above to best align your community for this potential future funding.
Visit our COVID-19 response page for resources and other information regarding the pandemic. Be well.