Washington, D.C. – National League of Cities President Chris Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minn., released the following statement responding to President Obama’s TIGER grant announcement:
“I was excited to join President Obama in Saint Paul as he announced $600 million in grants being made available to cities for transportation and economic development projects. The President should be commended for his continued commitment to modernize and expand our nation’s infrastructure that is so critical to the economic health of our nation.
These TIGER grants allow cities and towns across the nation to leverage federal government seed money and pair it with local resources to transform their communities. It is the best example of what is possible with a federal-local partnership.
As the main owners and operators of roads, bridges and transit systems around the nation, city officials welcome the Administration’s recognition of the need to prioritize city voices in future decision-making as we rebuild our national transportation network. Far too often, some communities do not have the opportunity to play a role in the decision making process for projects in their own backyards.
Local governments across the country have called on their citizens to raise local funds for innovative projects that spur economic development in their community and the necessary maintenance imperative to protect these transportation investments. But local funds alone are not sufficient to meet these funding challenges.
With the Highway Trust Fund anticipated to be depleted shortly, the leadership of the President and House and Senate leaders is needed to ensure that this vital funding lifeline for state and local infrastructure continues.
Local leaders look forward to working with President Obama, Representatives Shuster and Rahall in the House, and Senators Boxer and Vitter in the Senate as they move ahead in developing the next generation federal transportation investment program.“
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.