Reviving the Mississippi River Economy

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March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Roy Buol, mayor of Dubuque, Iowa, discusses reviving the Mississippi River economy with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television's "Bottom Line." (Source: Bloomberg)

How is that used to improve the economic conditions for the 3 million people who live in that region?

Certainly, all the cities and towns along the mississippi river depend on that river for the income and the economy of those cities.

We are looking at it from an organizational point of view that it's an asset of this country that has not been given it do and the federal legislature, whether it's the flooding or droughts we are seeing occur frequently or the invasive species or recreational issues.

Up and down the river, we have many issues that affect our economy and we are looking at it run and organizational, holistic view of the entire river.

You say not given its due.

Why do you suppose that is?

Is it politics or is something else going on?

I think it really hasn't had a voice, and that's the voice mississippi rivers towns and initiatives are trying to get to the river.

I think we are making some progress.

We have a memorandum of common purpose with the corps of engineers to help work on the issues they deal with infrastructure wise.

We are working with a bicameral caucus in the legislature of our senators and congressmen along the river to address it from a national standpoint.

Mr.

mayor, you mentioned the army corps of engineers.

What about disaster preparedness?

What is your community doing in conjunction with the core to assess how the region can withstand a worst-case stereo?

Have a flood wall in the city of dubuque and we are responsible for maintaining that.

We work with the koran all the river issues as an organization.

They were a big partner of ours and we are trying to help them gain the resources to address issues up and down the river.

I think we are going to be successful, but we continue to work toward those ends.

Lex you talk about helping them with the resources.

What about it being chronically underfunded?

I believe they have a $64 billion backlog and projects.

You can look at any of the lock and dam systems, some of which are 75 or 80 years old.

When you look at the produce and products that comes through those locks and dams and with the closure of any of those would do to the economy, i think it is high time they start looking at some funding to upgrade those facilities.

One of the problems your cities and other communities faces involves freight bottlenecks on the mississippi river.

The department of transportation said that costs the american economy roughly $200 billion a year.

Have the mayors, with a plan to alleviate the river traffic and keep commodities moving to their destinations?

Any of those bottlenecks are created by the existing infrastructure.

The only trade surplus that united states has is in agricultural goods and that's made possible by the mississippi river.

To the extent that infrastructure works or doesn't work has a tremendous economic impact on the nation.

What type of feedback have you any other mayors received from congress and the administration?

Do they understand the urgency of the situation and what are you telling them you and your colleagues need to keep the mississippi safe and keep communities going?

This is the second year of our organization and we are very pleased with the meetings we have had in washington with our congressional caucus.

Obviously, we are planning to grow that and when we talk with them, they see the same issues when it comes to funding.

That is a cross board in any one of these different areas of the federal government.

Funding for federal projects is a big issue today.

These are infrastructure needs that will have an impact if they are not addressed and it's going to be a very negative impact on the nation's economy.

The mayor of dubuque, iowa, joining us from washington.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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