Officials from Across the Nation Look to Mobile on Infrastructure Program
Nov 18th, 2017
This morning, City Council Members Fred Richardson, Gina Gregory and Levon Manzie along with Dianne Irby, who leads engineering and development, were featured speakers at the National League of Cities annual conference. The group spoke to elected officials from across the country on strategies for cities to deal with infrastructure issues and our Capital Improvement Program.
“Infrastructure is the bloodline of our cities. It impacts everything from economic development to quality of life,” said Ken Smith, Executive Director of the Alabama League of Municipalities. “It’s truly an honor that these Mobile city leaders were invited to speak on this subject and that one of our cities is a model for other cities across the nation.”
In 2015, the City Council created a program to finally address over $250 million of critical infrastructure needs. With funding made possible by the extension of the penny tax, the Council allocated $21 million -split evenly between the 7 council districts- for this infrastructure work.
“We simply hit a point where we had to take what others might see as an unprecedented and bold action to address these too long neglected critical infrastructure needs,” said Councilman Fred Richardson. “We needed to do it for our citizens, our neighborhoods and, most importantly the future of our city.”
These capital projects include repairing, replacing or installing sidewalks, resurfacing streets, upgrading local parks and recreational facilities and addressing flooding and drainage issues among others. The program has been incredibly successful with countless projects completed and underway transforming neighborhoods and the city.
“Progress can now be seen from one end of the city to the other,” said Councilwoman Gina Gregory. “While these projects are literally rebuilding communities, our citizens pride in our city is also being renewed.”
As a result of the success of this program, the Council Members were invited to speak to the conference of elected officials from cities across the country, many of which are also struggling with infrastructure backlogs.
“We have worked hard to breathe new life into our communities and the city through this program,” said Councilman Levon Manzie. “It’s incredibly gratifying to know that we might too be able to play a small role in this sort of transformative program taking flight in other cities as well.”
The National League of Cities City Summit is an annual conference that brings together thousands of local leaders to learn from experts and each other on the issues of most importance to our cities. For more information, please visit: http://citysummit.nlc.org/seminar/the-case-for-collaboration-tackling-the-infrastructure-backlog/.