House of Representatives passes FAST Act, includes amendment allowing for financing opportunities for utility infrastructure improvements
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the ''Fixing America’s Surface Transportation'' (FAST) Act today, which addresses national transportation needs and also includes an amendment to the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) to facilitate federal financing of water and sewer improvements.
Supported by Miami-Dade County’s Congressional Delegation, the legislation is expected to move rapidly through the Senate and be signed by the President before the end of the year.
“This legislation is of particular significance to the residents of Miami-Dade County because it authorizes federal support for our two greatest areas of infrastructure need: transportation and water and sewer,” said Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department Director Lester Sola. “This important act was sponsored and given effective leadership by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (F-26), to facilitate the use of tax exempt bond financing with WIFIA financing to address water infrastructure needs.
“As we continue to move forward with our 20-year Capital Improvement Plan this financing option allows the department more flexibility in how we are best able to deliver the much needed infrastructure upgrades that will allow us to continue to provide high quality service delivery to our 2.3 million customers on a daily basis.”
That both of these needs are addressed in a single piece of legislation reflects in part the fact that water infrastructure and roadway infrastructure tend to occupy the same space, and efficiencies are achieved when work in that space is fully coordinated. Also of significance is that this legislation has developed with bi-partisan support, demonstrating that real progress can be made when urgent issues bring together common interests across the aisle and among all levels of government.
“We look forward to working with our Congressional Delegation to assure adequate federal funding of these programs to be used in combination with state and local resources to address these critical infrastructure needs over the coming years,” said Sola.
It is the priority of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department to provide safe, reliable service to its customers. For additional information about Department services and programs, visit www.miamidade.gov/water.