It’s an innovative tool to stimulate private investment into public infrastructure. It’s also a monumental underpinning of the revitalization & modernization of America’s Infrastructure in Trump’s budget proposal. A $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure proposal that only taps the U. S. Treasury for a $200 Billion contribution, while the rest of the $1.5 Trillion comes from State & local governments and private investors.
It’s a complex proposal that requires State & Local governments to build agencies that can attract expertise to help them best figure out which government assets they own, that can be successfully leased or bought by private developers. The devil, as always, is in the detail.
Figuring out which assets to lease (especially the length of the lease), and which to sell outright is a critical component to the success or failure of localities, and their vision to manage population growth and sustain a healthy tax base to maintain infrastructure.
For instance Chicago leased prime property and its parking meters for 75 years to private investors to develop and control public parking facilities and parking violations. if Parking garage fees tripled, as did the towing of private vehicles that replaced City ‘boots’ (a device that immobilized vehicles with unpaid parking violations until the tickets were paid). The result? More public transportation commutes into and out of the Loop. Which in turn put more stresses and demand on public metro lines. At the moment Chicago desperately needs to extend it’s ‘Red Line’ an additional two miles, at a cost of $2 Billion the City doesn’t have.
Had Chicago City planners given private parking garage developers renewable 20 year leases, rather than 75 years, the City would have been in the position to re-evaluate and renegotiate it’s public revenue stream.
The State of Virginia recently ran the following ad;
‘Program Manager to lead identification and development of innovative solutions and technolog-based concepts to enhance the efficiency of Transportation systems in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Position closes February 5, 2018.’
The ad had a link describing the qualifications needed for the job, but the link has since been removed. I can only imagine the complexities of this job.
The Trump Administration’s proposal for revitalizing and modernizing our nation’s infrastructure calls for local and State agency implementation and oversight agency expertise local and State governments simply don’t have. Where will it come from? There’s only two choices; State & local governments and private industry.
If local governments want people to best serve their localities short and long term economic interest, they will have to elect people that have a firm grasp on the impact of State and Federal government’s infrastructure revitalization plans on both short and long term impacts on their local economies.
Time & Tide Changes Everything