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  • Chen Moore and Associates

September 11, 2020

Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP

President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: Recently the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) partnered on a new economic report that quantifies water infrastructure investment and what happens when the nation fails to invest. The report “The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure: How a Failure to Act Would Affect the U.S. Economy Recovery” shows that closing the water investment gap brings enormous economic benefits and public health protections. As federal lawmakers consider how best to alleviate economic hardships caused by COVID-19 and protect public health, it is critical they understand the role water plays in keeping communities safe and healthy and our economy flowing.

Looking ahead: We all understand the immediate need for Congress and the administration to provide fiscal relief to state and local governments hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are also longer-term stressors on our nation’s infrastructure system that need to be addressed, specifically the relationship between the federal government and local governments. The ACEC Research Institute and partners have produced a series of recommendations to better align federal policies, funding options and regulations with local priorities within urban areas. The Community Serving Infrastructure: A Playbook for a New Infrastructure Partnership offers recommendations. Our local officials should read the Playbook this week.

  • Chen Moore and Associates

September 4, 2020

Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP

President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: When is the best time to roll out a new tax? The simple answer to that is never. When is the best time to start planning for sea-level rise? The answer to that is yesterday. The City of Fort Lauderdale began meetings this past week on changes to their stormwater utility fee program that will increase rates for residents and businesses. These dedicated funding sources are critical to provide continuity with these programs and will allow the city to apply for grants requiring matching funds or bond the fees to accelerate progress. These are necessary for our future.

Looking ahead: Sept. 30 is a very important day in Washington D.C. for highways, airports and transit. Both the Payroll Support Program and the current surface transportation bill expire without congressional action. The Payroll Support Program has been keeping 100,000 airline workers and contractors employed while the airline industry is trying to recover. If the surface transportation bill deadline passes, the current law expires which will deplete the Highway Trust Fund. This will have a cascading effect, furloughing federal DOT employees and impacting a wide variety of state projects that get federal reimbursement. We need these reauthorizations to stave off disaster.

  • Chen Moore and Associates

August 28, 2020

Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP

President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: I previously wrote about this as a concern, and this past week it happened. State Rep. Mike La Rosa, a Republican who faces term limits this year, was named last Friday by Gov. DeSantis to serve on the Florida Public Service Commission. The selection of La Rosa was over two other politicians and engineer Donald Polmann, who was seeking to be re-elected and was previously the only engineer on the commission. The five-member Public Service Commission regulates utilities and is expected to grapple with a series of high-profile issues in the coming years, including complex base-rate cases for electric utilities.

Looking ahead: After watching the destruction caused by Hurricane Laura in Louisiana and Texas this past week, we are looking at another two disturbances in the Caribbean in the coming week. When I was a child, my only knowledge of tropical activity was when storms became named and I used the Public Hurricane map and the latitude and longitude information provided to plot them on the refrigerator. In know that all this information causes stress to some – “not another two storms” – but I congratulate the advancements and warnings that lead to increase preparedness.

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