MuniNet Guide provides some of the more notable news stories relating to state and local infrastructure investments, involving transportation, environmental sustainability, energy, and economic development.
- High-Speed Rail Board to Weigh in on Revised California Plan (Associated Press) – California’s ambitious high-speed rail plan is considering changing where the first installations will be built, trying to get the most bang for their buck with existing funds . Pulling off a successful first step is crucial to gaining public support, and buy-in for additional funding from public and private interests.
- Ada County Highway District putting together North Boise bicycle plan (The Idaho Statesman via American Planning Association) – Ada County is planning on a pedestrian pathway and other construction projects, and is seeking public comment from area residents. Residents can use this time to influence how this project can shape their community. We continue to see increased interest in these types of projects across the country. MuniNet wrote on pedestrian transportation in greater detail earlier this month.
- Planner Discusses City of Erie development Plan (Erie Times News via APA) – The Erie Planning Commission has voted 4-0 to recommend that the Erie City Council approve an ambitious development plan that involves reinventing their waterfront, and providing safe, attractive corridors between the city’s current assets. Giving people the freedom to comfortably visit private and public facilities in a city’s downtown is a key component of attractive new businesses and residents.
- Federal Regulators Put Brakes on Ohio Energy Deals (AP) – Ohio regulators approved rate hikes by two utility companies, seeking to subsidize older coal and nuclear power plants. Federal regulators jumped in, stating they must first approve the deals before hikes can go into effect. This decision has economic and environmental impacts, but is also a chapter in the ongoing struggle of Federal and state intergovernmental relations.
- Seattle Compost Rule Thrown Out by Judge as Unconstitutional (AP) – Enforcement of a city ordinance was declared unconstitutional on the grounds of privacy rights by a King County Superior Court judge. The ordinance forbade people from throwing compost into their garbage, and held that trash collectors search garbage bags for obvious signs of compost. Citizens ought to want to comply with good-sense laws that help the environment and improve the quality of their communities. However, where the line is between government enforcing compliance for the common good and government unfairly violating privacy and freedom of choice is a point of serious debate.
- Wilderness Area Master Plan Gains Approval (The Record via APA) – The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors approved 4-0 the master plan to revitalize the local Woodbridge Wilderness Area, with plans to develop an amphitheater, outdoor classroom, benches along hiking trails, and possible permanent staff and expanded hours. These investments are to improve and increase public use of the facility. Access to such publicly maintained facilities open to all improve the quality of life and attractiveness of communities. MuniNet Guide provides you with the full report, via the San Joaquin County website.