How a New Infrastructure Law Benefits Rural Communities
In late 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law. The new legislation invests in our roads, bridges, rail, ports, airports, electric grid, and other infrastructure needed to ensure the efficient movement of products across the globe.
There are three different ways the IIJA funding will be distributed: a formula-based calculation for states and municipalities, a suballocated formula from the state government, and opportunities for communities to apply directly for competitive grant funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
This legislation directly impacts cities and communities around the nation – Indiana included – with an 18 percent increase in annual infrastructure funding. Specifically, from 2022-2026 this law:
• Increases state transportation funding by $969.4 million
• Increases local community funding by $323.1 million
• Provides $401 million for bridge repair and replacement
Communities can provide input on the competitive grant program, which gives agencies and municipalities opportunities – above and beyond the formula-based funding – to improve infrastructure, public transit, safety, energy security, broadband, and more. The federal government is in the early stages of seeking input from stakeholders, including government agencies, business owners and taxpayers, on the rules and requirements for these grants.
The opportunity is now for Indiana’s rural communities to work closely with municipal, state and, in some cases, federal agencies to ensure that rural and agricultural needs are being met. Conexus Indiana, through its partnership with the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council, is eager to work closely with the Rural Crossroads Advisory Council to ensure that the agricultural industry and rural communities have the tools necessary to deliver their products to a global market.
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