Pictured L-R: DeKalb County, Georgia Commissioner Larry Johnson, Congressman Hank Johnson and Sen. Jon Ossoff
NACo President Larry Johnson, DeKalb County elected officials witness signing ceremony at White House
NACo President Larry Johnson: Counties ready to move forward on overdue projects
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Today, leaders of the National Association of Counties (NACo) applauded the enactment of the landmark bipartisan infrastructure package signed into law by President Biden.
NACo President Larry Johnson, who serves on the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, joined county leaders from across the country at the White House for the signing ceremony for the bill. Johnson said the bill will greatly transform DeKalb and other counties across the nation as major revitalization projects stimulate economic growth in Georgia and throughout the country.
“So glad to be representing our nation’s counties and DeKalb. I am also happy I had a chance to ba a advocate for this bill. We will now have additional way ways to fund our roads, fix our bridges, bring more sidewalks and trails, help the underserved get internet connectiity, fix our sewers and get heavy rail for South DeKalb,” said Johnson.
Johnson said the infrastructure projects are long overdue.
“Counties across the country are ready to move forward on long-overdue infrastructure projects that will help our residents and communities thrive,” said Johnson. “This bill is where the rubber meets the road. We appreciate our House and Senate partners and members of the administration who worked with us to develop this comprehensive legislation.”
NACo Transportation Committee Chair Liz Hausmann, a Fulton County commissioner, also praised the investments that will be made as a result of the bill.
“The bipartisan infrastructure package invests in locally owned infrastructure,” Hausmann. “These investments will help make our communities safer and our economy stronger. We look forward to continuing to work with our federal partners on implementation.”
The bipartisan infrastructure package will accomplish many longstanding county priorities, including:
- A new, long-term surface transportation reauthorization for highways, roads and bridges, public transit and rail systems
- Meaningful commitments to transportation safety and project streamlining
- Critical new investments in water, stormwater and broadband projects
- Increased investments in county-owned bridges that are not part of the federal-aid highway system
- Raising the cap on Private Activity Bonds, which will facilitate the construction of infrastructure projects, and
- An extension of the Secure Rural Schools program for timber harvest counties for three years.
“We are pleased that our federal partners have recognized the critical role counties play in our nation’s infrastructure,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “As America’s counties fulfill our vast infrastructure responsibilities, we appreciate a strong federal-state-local partnership to make much-needed investments in building and strengthening infrastructure for the future.”
Counties play a major role in maintaining critical infrastructure. Counties:
- Own 44 percent of the nation’s road miles and nearly 40 percent of all bridges
- Are involved in the vast majority of public transportation systems and a third of all public airports
- Are responsible for the operation of local water systems, and
- Invest in the safety and resiliency of our communities.