When President Joe Biden signed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law six months ago, it was hailed as a historic investment in America’s physical needs and an opportunity for transformative impact on challenges like climate change and racial wealth equity. But whether the money is allocated to the most deserving and important projects that move our nation forward will depend in no small part on whether cities and towns of all sizes, from all regions, submit strong applications for the aid. And that is easier said than done.
Over the next 24 months, local governments will be sorting through roughly 400 programs that are designed to aid everything from ports and parks to rural broadband and green buildings, all of which impact the wellbeing and livelihood of communities across the country. But the fact is many cities and towns don’t have the staff to identify all the funding that may be available to them. And, once they figure out which funding they are actually eligible for, they don’t have the capacity to complete the necessary applications.