Are You on Track to Get Your Share of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Funds?

Are You on Track to Get Your Share of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Funds?

Over the next five years, the Federal government will invest $1.2 trillion to fix, maintain, and upgrade aging roads, bridges, railways and railroads, airports, water systems, broadband, cybersecurity, the electricity grid, and a lot more. What can you do now to maximize the impact IIJA can have on your local community and residents?

Get to know IIJA, so you’re ready to maximize opportunities.

Here’s an overview. To learn what to apply for, contacts, and how to get ready to rebuild, visit Building a Better American: A Guidebook to the BiPartisan Infrastructure Law for State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Governments and Other Partners (it was created to ensure all communities know how to qualify for funding, no matter their size or politics). For insights on how to make the most of IIJA locally, The New York State Conference of Mayors website has a number of resources to help you maximize IIJA benefits locally. You may also want to review A Federal Investment Guide for Local Leaders, created by Accelerator for America, the United States Conference of Mayors, and Drexel University.

You’ll also want to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in New York by following Governor Kathy Hochul and connecting with your congressional representatives. Governors are encouraged to appoint staff to manage the flow of funds; get input from Tribal leaders, county officials, civil rights and territorial leaders; identify how American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds can help maximize IIJA funds (i.e., use ARP funding to train workers to build the infrastructure; rehire public sector workers to manage funds; and start water, sewer and broadband projects to complement IIJA investments); contact the State Department of Transportation for highway and bridge formula funding; and identify priorities for competitive grants.

In addition, consider creating or updating a capital needs assessment plan to identify and prioritize potential projects for IIJA funding. For example, look at potential projects to fix, maintain, and upgrade roads, bridges, rails, and airports. Start mapping and taking an inventory of lead pipes that are part of your water delivery system. Identify gaps in broadband and opportunities to install electrical vehicle chargers. Evaluate environmental resilience and remediation plans.

Concurrently, you may want to create or update your own operation’s infrastructure needs assessment. Do you have a streamlined bidding and project management system? What about the systems and capacity to manage, track, and report on funds to meet compliance requirements (and be prepared should an audit be required)? Are there processes you should move online (for example, permit applications)? Is your cybersecurity ready to protect more data and handle more traffic?

There’s also talent to consider. With the great resignation underway, employers are challenged to create work environments and employment deals that help attract, engage and retain valued talent. Do you anticipate having to increase staff to support extra demands or new capabilities needed as a result of the IIJA? Now is the time to identify staffing needs and get recruiting activities underway.

While you may not be ready for any groundbreaking ceremonies, there is still plenty to do. Take advantage of the time you have now to prepare the plans, infrastructure, systems, and staff you need to maximize the difference IIJA can make in your community for years to come.

Remember, your partners at RBT CPAs are available to help you maximize Infrastructure Law opportunities from accounting, tax, and auditing perspectives. Find out how – contact us today.