TACIR recognized Senator Douglas Henry at its November meeting with a resolution honoring his meritorious service on the Commission. Senator Henry served on the Commission from 1981 through 2014. He will be sorely missed!
State and local officials estimate the cost of public infrastructure improvements that need to be in some stage of development between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2017, at $38.8 billion, an increase of approximately $1.3 billion (3.5%) from last year. TACIR’s latest infrastructure inventory report provides information on these improvements, grouping them into six general categories: transportation and utilities ($21.8 billion in infrastructure improvements), education ($7.7 billion), health, safety, and welfare ($5.9 billion), recreation and culture ($1.7 billion), economic development ($1.3 billion), and general government ($555 million).
The inventory also provides the only statewide source of information about the condition of public school buildings and what it would take to get them all in good or better condition. The news here continues to be good with local school officials reporting that 93% of local public schools are in good or excellent condition. The cost to bring the remaining 7% up to good or better condition is estimated at $487 million.
Local officials are confident in obtaining funding for only $11.6 billion of the $31 billion identified as local needs. The government that owns the infrastructure typically funds the bulk of its cost; for example, local officials report that 86% of the funding for county-owned projects will come from county sources. Likewise, cities expect to provide 70% of the funds for current and future city improvements.
Infrastructure is built for many reasons: enhancing communities, accommodating population growth, improving public health and safety, supporting economic development, and meeting government mandates. Around two-thirds (65%) of improvements in this inventory are needed for public health and safety, 30% are needed for population growth, 21% are needed for community enhancement, and 20% are needed for economic development while state and federal mandates account for only 2%. (Full Report)
TACIR has partnered with the Middle Tennessee State University Business and Economic Research Center to provide an Internet site to track the state economy during the recovery from the recession that began in December 2007. The site will permit the reader to follow labor force status including employment and unemployment numbers; housing data including a housing price index and construction activity; and sales tax collections. These data are available for the state and for 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas across the state. Presented graphically, the data may also be downloaded for use at the reader’s convenience. (More)
Serve as a forum for the discussion and resolution of intergovernmental problems; provide high quality research support to state and local government officials in order to improve the overall quality of government in Tennessee; and to improve the effectiveness of the intergovernmental system in order to better serve the citizens of Tennessee.