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

streets paved.”

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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