Elected officials representing 122 communities and 31 states signed a letter this week urging the Senate to prioritize funding a new program that funds the critical infrastructure that is connected to our nation’s military installations, ADC announced Tuesday.
The elected officials have requested the Senate fund the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program (DCIP) in the fiscal 2020 Defense appropriations bill.
This program, which was authorized at $100 million in the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, provides critical funding for off-base but adjacent community infrastructure projects for transportation, schools, hospitals, police, fire, emergency response, water, wastewater, telecommunications, electric, gas or other utility infrastructure owned by a state or local government.
“Quality of life for military families is a priority for the state and local communities that enjoy the privilege of hosting military installations and should also be a priority for the federal government. It is well documented that roads and other vulnerable infrastructure necessary to support military bases continues to deteriorate and many local governments face significant issues with flooding,” the elected officials wrote. “We believe community infrastructure deficiencies directly impacts military readiness and federal funding to address these deficiencies will enhance military value, resilience, and military qualify of life at our nation’s military installations.”
Led by Cassie Franklin, mayor of Everett, Wash., the U.S. Conference of Mayors endorsed the proposal in July.
“As our city and local military presence continues to grow, so do our infrastructure needs, and many of our municipalities are not financially able to maintain those needs without federal support,” Franklin said. “This additional funding is crucial to help communities like Everett with significant military populations to best support our local service members and their families.”
“While military construction dollars provide direct support on base, states and communities often bear the burden of financing infrastructure off-base where on average more than 70% of service members and their families live,” said ADC CEO Tim Ford. “This is a targeted plan that invests resources in our nation’s most critical infrastructure through a partnership that will leverage state, local and private sector resources.”
ADC previously published a study regarding the potential impact of the program and its potential $400 million impact through local matching and other partnerships.
Authorized for 10 years as a pilot program, DCIP includes a state/local match with exceptions for rural locations. Despite widespread congressional support and continued requests from Congress, the Department of Defense has not released details on the program’s structure or criteria.