Kilmer meeting with government agencies to discuss infrastructure

US Representative Derek Kilmer is spending this week meeting with government agencies in the northern Olympic Peninsula to discuss infrastructure.

Speaking to the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners on Monday, Kilmer reflected on the passage of the federal infrastructure bill and what it means for the state and how it could benefit the community. peninsula.

“This bill is about getting people to work now and laying the foundation for long-term economic growth by investing in roads, bridges, public transit, water systems, ports and broadband,” Kilmer said. “It’s about recognizing that we cannot compete in the 21st century with the infrastructure of the 19th and 20th centuries.”

Funds from the infrastructure bill will be administered by the state, and cities, counties and other government agencies can apply for them.

A number of funds have been set aside for specific types of projects, such as highway and bridge repairs, broadband, ports, sewage, fish passage and other environmental resilience projects that fight against climate change.

“Based on the funding formula alone, our state should receive $4.7 billion for federal assistance programs spread across highways, more than $600 million for bridge replacements and repairs over the next five years,” Kilmer said.

Kilmer encouraged communities to apply for multiple grant opportunities to fund infrastructure projects through the bill, but also recommended that they mention some specifics, particularly regarding transportation-related grants.

“The largest amount of money in this bill is for transportation programs, and in fact the federal DOT will be the agency responsible for implementing the bulk of this bill,” said Kilmer.

“The administration has set out several priorities for where these dollars go, prioritizing job creation, security, equity and quality of life, climate change and economic competitiveness. .”

Kilmer will virtually visit other government entities throughout the week.

“Thank you all for what you are doing,” Kilmer told Jefferson County Commissioners and Northern Olympic Peninsula Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry. “Obviously it’s been a very difficult time from a public health system perspective and obviously we’ve also faced extraordinary economic challenges, and each of you has been on the front line trying to help your community.”

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Reporter Ken Park can be reached by email at [email protected]


Ashley C. Reynolds