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Michigan Creates Councils to Coordinate Infrastructure Investments

Parul Dubey on July 21, 2018 - in News

In order to forge a more “coordinated effort” for improving the management of Michigan’s drinking water, wastewater, storm water, transportation, and private utilities, the state is creating two “councils” to guide infrastructure investments among those five entities.

The first is the Michigan Infrastructure Council which will construct the statewide asset management database, facilitate the data collection strategy, and produce a 30-year infrastructure investment and management strategy for the state.

Recently-passed legislation amended the Michigan Transportation Fund law to place the state’s Transportation Asset Management Council within the Michigan Infrastructure Council, so it can coordinate a statewide “transportation asset management strategy,” along with the processes and tools needed for implementing said strategy.

The second is the Water Infrastructure Council, which will advise the Michigan Infrastructure Council on a statewide water asset management strategy, promote and oversee the implementation of the recommendations from the Regional Infrastructure Asset Management Pilot Program, plus develop templates for water asset management plans by Oct. 1, 2019.

“Having sound and modern infrastructure is vital to the health and well-being of the people of Michigan,” noted Gov. Rick Snyder in a statement. “This legislation helps us take the necessary steps to ensure Michigan has a modern and reliable infrastructure system.”

The creation of those two councils is a byproduct of work conducted by Michigan’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission, established in 2016, to develop 30- to 50-year recommendations for the state’s transportation, drinking water, wastewater, storm water, electric, gas and broadband entities to improve the state’s infrastructure.

“The 27-member commission worked for seven months to provide a long-term, comprehensive set of infrastructure recommendations aimed at improving our infrastructure across all asset types,” Gov. Snyder said.

“Recommendations prioritized a healthy environment; reliable, high-quality service; economic prosperity; and value for investment,” he added. “In addition to sector-specific recommendations, there were overarching themes such as a statewide culture of asset management, encouraging and facilitating coordinated planning, working to ensure sustainable funding, and embracing emerging technologies.”

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