Taveras Announces “Ocean State Infrastructure Trust”
Trust Would Restore Rhode Island’s Infrastructure, Put People Back to Work
CENTRAL FALLS – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras today announced “The Ocean State
Infrastructure Trust,” his plan to rebuild the state’s roads, bridges, and schools and put Rhode
Islanders back to work. Joined by Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, Taveras discussed the
infrastructure challenges faced by cities and towns across the state and how his plan would bring
“Most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about infrastructure. But infrastructure provides
us with an opportunity to create jobs, improve our economy and attract private investment,” said
Taveras. “Improvements to Rhode Island’s infrastructure are long overdue. The Ocean State
Infrastructure Trust will enable cities and towns to fund improvements to our roads, bridges and
schools while helping to put people back to work right away.”
The Ocean State Infrastructure Trust would create an $800 million fund that would give low or
no interest loans to help local governments make needed investments in their infrastructure.
Taveras would pay for the fund by bringing the same budget discipline he brought to Providence
to the state and by issuing a $100 million bond. Reducing state expenditures by less than 1%
would allow the state to contribute $40 million a year.
“In Central Falls we’ve been lucky enough to be able to partner with the Pawtucket Water
Supply Board to repave some of our roads. But this isn’t just about roads and pot holes. There is
much more work to be done in Central Falls and around the state,” said Diossa. “The Mayor’s
plan provides us with an opportunity to start making needed investments in our infrastructure and
to do it more affordably than if we had to go it alone.”
The plan calls for a single board to administer the trust and determine which infrastructure
projects will be funded. The board will include representation from appropriate state agencies
and will rank and fund projects based on need – effectively taking politics out of the process.
“As Mayor, I’ve had to make some tough fiscal choices – but I’m proud to say that we are
paving over 60 miles of roads in our Capital City in just two years. And we’ve made it a point to
pave the worst roads first,” said Taveras. “As Governor, I’ll continue this progress – and I’ll
ensure that we fund projects based on need. You shouldn’t have to know someone to get your
In addition to providing low cost loans for municipalities for transportation infrastructure, the
funds would also assist local governments with school repair and new school construction by
providing refinancing options for their previous bonds. For example, localities that had
previously issued bonds at 5-6% interest rates could refinance them at a 1% rate (subsidized by
the state) with the new trust program.
Taveras added, “With the School Housing Aid and Infrastructure Fund moratorium about to be
lifted, we need to ensure that our state and local governments have the funds they need. The
Trust will help ensure that cities and towns are able to meet their infrastructure needs now and
well into the future.”
To read and download the plan, visit: app.box.com/s/1xdfwt7u86xtcp47xc2y
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