The economy. One can’t go 15 minutes without hearing about it. Whether people are speaking of how it is going to get better, or how much worse it’s going to get; it’s always nice to hear about what someone is doing about it. As we speak our government officials are concocting a Recovery Package that will hopefully stimulate the economy that will hurl all of us in a new economic direction; up. What everyone is curious about is what exactly is this Recovery Package going to do for the economy, and more importantly, what is it going to do for me as a community?
As everyone knows, one of the main goals in the process is job creation. Putting this massive dollar amount towards providing infrastructure work will create thousands of jobs helping the average American family on their bottom line. But what kind of infrastructure work are we talking about? NARC, or the National Association of Regional Councils, put together a few recommendations for the stimulus package. One of these recommendations is to, “increase funding for ”ready-to-go” infrastructure projects through an equitable distribution by established formula allocation such as those currently identified within the House and Senate economic stimulus bills.” Some of these infrastructure projects being Community Development Block Grants, Drinking water State Revolving Fund, and USDA Rural Development and Economic Development Administration programs. These are programs with a wide range of uses, from adding sewage lines to conducting economic development analyses.
Parts of NARC’s recommendations pertain to making sure that the local governments of communities have a large part in selecting the infrastructure projects in question. After all, who knows where money needs to be spent in your community better than you do? All of the local governments should have a hands-on-approach to where the money involved should be allocated, to make sure that we are not only creating jobs, but building a better and safer community in the process.
We are all looking for our elected officials to create a balanced, fair and effective strategy to return things back to normal. As our President has said and what we need to remember is that, “our economic recovery will take years -- not months.” There is no “quick fix” in this situation. We have to remember that it will take time, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Check out more of the NARC recommendations as well as some possible amendments to the bill at their website: http://www.narc.org