Ohio can lead the way with a comprehensive approach to infrastructure; one that not only entails the repair and maintenance of existing systems but the development of a far reaching effort that accomplishes a number of major tasks.
- Ohioans have realized for years that our state’s infrastructures woes have largely gone unaddressed. It’s not just the innumerable bridges and roads that need repair but many communities face hardships in dealing with antiquated water treatment facilities and still connected sewer and stormwater drainage systems. Funding is difficult for rural and small communities and the state itself is hindered with its own long-term debt of $17 billion. Therefore, new funding mechanisms must be found to finance this critical need.
- Raising the state excise tax would generate additional funds for road maintenance. Excise tax revenue could be used as seed money for a state infrastructure bank like the Bank of North Dakota that has been used to fuel their recent infrastructure expansion.
- It’s time for new solutions for old problems such as road materials and power and data transmission architecture. What if we could use our existing coal supplies for an entirely new form of carbon fiber metallurgical process for road building purposes combined with new composites for concrete? Perhaps even lay fiber optic cabling inside the new roadbeds that included data and possibly even power lines so overhead wires become a thing of the past? Rural areas could be connected with high speed data transmission and roadways in the northern climes could be heated so as to reduce icing and the need for salts and other chemicals. Innovative ideas like these are what will make our communities competitive.
- Solving Ohio’s infrastructure problems will also greatly alleviate a number of environmental concerns particularly when it comes to air and water and it also helps ensure the next generation inherits a better place to live and work.