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Local Government Leaders Issue Transportation Statement
- Posted on June 14, 2016
Infrastructure Critical for Wisconsin's Economic Success
In response to comments made by State Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke regarding the state’s transportation shortfall, the executive directors of the three largest local governmental associations have released the following statement about this critical topic:
In response to recent comments made by State Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke regarding the state’s transportation shortfall, the executive directors of the three largest local governmental associations have released the following statement about this critical topic:
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers Wisconsin ranks 48 out of 50 states in terms of the roughness of our roads.
“If our state is to be successful, our private sector needs to be successful. One of the primary components of a successful private sector is a high functioning and well maintained transportation infrastructure,” said Mark O’Connell, executive director of the Wisconsin Counties Association. “We commend our legislative leaders who understand the critical role transportation plays and the need to step forward and fund it responsibly.”
Wisconsin's combined gas tax and registration fees cost the average driver $23 a month which is significantly lower than any of our neighbors in the Midwest. (Minnesota is $42 a month Iowa is $41 and Michigan will be $34 starting next year.)
Wisconsin's transportation fund has been propped up with borrowing for the last decade. There are not enough ongoing revenues to meet our current needs much less ensure we have an infrastructure foundation in place to build a successful economy and compete in the market.
“Our cities, villages, towns and counties weave the fabric of society, they are what people look at when we speak of quality of life. Transportation in all forms is a major part of that and Wisconsin’s infrastructure is in desperate need of serious attention,” added Jerry Deschane, executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.
Executive Director Mike Koles of the Wisconsin Towns Association added, “Wisconsin’s economy is diverse in so many ways, including geography. We are a leader in agricultural and wood products production and exports, but lack of investment in our transportation infrastructure is putting Wisconsin’s rural economy at risk.”
“Nearly every successful economy has a few things in common, available capital for private sector investment, a steady and reliable stream of talent from education systems, and well functioning infrastructures such as broadband and transportation. For Wisconsin to be positioned for future economic success, investment in our transportation infrastructure is critical,” concluded O’Connell.