Legislation Helps Improve Infrastructure, Protects Taxpayers

Ankeny continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in Iowa and the entire country. The growth of new businesses and homes is advantageous to our community. However, it does come with its share of growing pains as our current infrastructure struggles to keep up with developments throughout the city.

These necessary improvements, like new or widened roads, and new bridges are being constructed with federal, state or local funds – and in some cases, a combination of two or three sources of funding. There is a lot of construction work currently under way in Ankeny, including the 36th Street extension and Oralabor ramp. A bill passed by the legislature will help our city and county governments increase efficiencies in road projects.

Under the previous law, if a local project uses any federal money, we must abide by a number of federal requirements placed on the project that greatly increase costs. House File 203 will allow cities and counties to exchange or swap the federal money for state dollars, thereby eliminating burdensome requirements placed on the projects. This will result in saving Iowa taxpayers millions of dollars.

Cutting the strings on these monies is something I have urged and supported since being elected to the Senate. I ran for office stressing the importance of a smaller, smarter, efficient government. As governing bodies deal daily with rising expenditures associated with operational costs and limited resources, efficiencies must be considered.

This bill is about using taxpayer money in a responsible and efficient way. It is expected this legislation could save as much as 15 to 20 percent on local projects, allowing a more effective use of taxpayer money. Local governments – and ultimately taxpayers – will save money while making necessary improvements to our roads and bridges.

It is imperative we continue to update and make improvements to our infrastructure. This bill allows us to accelerate the rebuilding of our Iowa infrastructure and get the most value for the dollars of hard-working taxpayers.

The legislation was signed into law Thursday by Governor Branstad. This means Ankeny and many Iowa cities and counties can begin realizing these 15 to 20 percent savings yet this year. This is good for our construction companies, cities, counties and Iowa as a whole.