Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Lansing, Mich. — Michigan is first in the nation to implement a coordinated effort to better manage the state’s drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, transportation, and private utilities under legislation signed July 2 by Gov. Rick Snyder.

“Having sound and modern infrastructure is vital to the health and well-being of the people of Michigan,” Snyder said. “This legislation helps us take the necessary steps to ensure Michigan has a modern and reliable infrastructure system.”

In his 2016 State of the State Address, Gov. Snyder called for the creation of the 21st Century Infrastructure Commission to develop 30- to 50-year recommendations for Michigan’s transportation, drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, electric, gas and broadband entities to improve the state’s infrastructure.

The 27-member commission worked for seven months to provide a long-term, comprehensive set of infrastructure recommendations aimed at improving our infrastructure across all asset types. Recommendations prioritized a healthy environment; reliable, high-quality service; economic prosperity; and value for investment. In addition to sector-specific recommendations, there were overarching themes such as a statewide culture of asset management, encouraging and facilitating coordinated planning, working to ensure sustainable funding, and embracing emerging technologies.

Once these bills are implemented, Michigan will lead the nation by creating a statewide asset management database and program that will address each of these four areas and will help communities to better plan and invest in their systems. This approach to integrated and holistic infrastructure planning helps prioritize public health and creates a strong foundation for our communities.

House Bill 5335, sponsored by state Rep. Rob VerHeulen, creates the Michigan Infrastructure Council which will construct the statewide asset management database, facilitate the data collection strategy, and produce a 30-year infrastructure investment and management strategy for the state of Michigan.

HB 5406, sponsored by state Rep. Roger Victory, creates the Water Infrastructure Council. The council will advise the Michigan Infrastructure Council on a statewide water asset management strategy, promote and oversee the implementation of the recommendations from the Regional Infrastructure Asset Management Pilot Program, and develop templates for water asset management plans by Oct. 1, 2019.

HB 5408, sponsored by state Rep. Triston Cole, amends the Michigan Transportation Fund law to place the Transportation Asset Management Council within the Michigan Infrastructure Council. The council will advise the MIC on a statewide transportation asset management strategy and the processes and tools needed for implementation.

The bills are now Public Acts 323-325 of 2018.