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LIMBA Marc Herbst will lead infrustructure Panel TBC
April 17, 2015 @ 12:00 am EDT
Our speaker this morning was Marc Herbst. Marc is the executive director of the Long Island Contractors Association and the topic was infrastructure. Mitch Pally Executive Director of the Long Island Builders Institute, and Gil Hanse also contributed to the conversation.
Marc began by speaking about the cost to each of us as a result of inefficient transportation systems. The loss of time we experience in snarled traffic he estimated as $1250/year. The last time we had ample funds allocated to infrastructure was in the 1970’s and the backlog of investments have accumulated over the years.
The funding for roads and bridges comes out of gasoline taxes, and those federal taxes have not been increased from the 18 cents per gallon since 1992. We drive more efficient cars so the revenues have decreased while construction costs have increased.
State gasoline taxes are more at 59 cents per gallon. However those revenues have been raided by other state agencies. Only 23% of that number winds up going to roads.
On the federal level we have been funding infrastructure using “continuing resolutions”. Funding by these short term commitments of one month or six months does not allow for long term projects that take years to plan and complete. Next month if no funds are voted on there will be no more funds. None! As it is the United States spends only 2% of its budget on infrastructure. That is less than half of what the European nations allot for the same purpose.
In New York State most of the road needs are in this downstate region. In the past we received 23% of those funds to match our needs. It is now 9%. On Long Island 61% of the bridges are reported to be below acceptable safety standards.
Mitch Pally weighed in on the need for sewers noting that the village of Patchogue was able develop because a gift of sewers were planned and built by his predecessors. The future of the islands’s growth is dependent on the building of sewers.
He then spoke about the need for unsnarling the track layout at Jamaica that encumbers train traffic there. He explained the need for building second tracks on several lines. He then explained how a robust train service indirectly helps the situation on the roads by luring the commuters to the rails and off the roads
Gil Hanse then gave a wrap-up of various infrastructure he is responsible for with a concentration again on sewers
This meeting was sponsored by SFM Company and Principal Mark Pinnata- Thank you
LIMBA staff today was Ken Nevor, Bill Miller and Ernie Fazio
In the photo – Ken Nevor, Bill Miller, Mark Pinna (today’s sponsor}.Ernie Fazio, Marc Hebst-LICA, Mitch Pally- LIBI, and Gil Hanse