These bills have been introduced under the guise of opening municipal bids to more competition and driving down costs.
Out of sight out of mind could easily describe the thought process of most Michigan residents when it comes to underground infrastructure. Unlike roads, we cannot easily see the deterioration and wonder why or how this could happen. Many individuals, when they turn on their faucet or flush their toilet, never think about how it gets there or where it goes, but if you are the community operating that system that is all you think about.
According to Gov. Rick Snyder’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission, most of the drinking and wastewater systems throughout our state need to be repaired or replaced. The commission has found that most of our major water infrastructure systems are between 50 and 100 years.
Clearly, solutions are needed. But we must be careful to wind up not creating another problem in our attempts to address this issue. What our communities don’t need are constraints that prevent Michigan communities in rebuilding their infrastructure with the materials they think work best for their system.