LEWISBURG, Pa, April 12 — Marc Friedenberg, candidate for the 12th Congressional District, pledged to support federal funding for the Williamsport Levee project and for the creation of an infrastructure bank to increase investment in infrastructure projects around the nation. The pledge came during a Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce candidate breakfast.
The levees in Williamsport require re-certification to meet new Federal Emergency Management Agency standards that were put in place after the Katrina hurricane. If the upgrades are not implemented and the levees were to fail, there could be a catastrophic loss of life and an estimated $4 billion in damages. The levees are expected to cost around $15 million over the next five years. But businesses are already being threatened with higher expenses in the form of costly flood insurance.
“This is a threat to local businesses, families, city infrastructure, and the lives that are in the flood path, in the biggest city in our district,” Marc Friedenberg said at the forum. He continued, “And yet our politicians have been unable to find enough room in the budget to support a project that is embraced by unions, schools, and families in the area. The necessary infrastructure measures to reinforce the dike would cost an estimated $15 million over 5 years. That’s less than half of 1 percent of the cost of failure.”
In addition to calling for more money for the Williamsport levees, Friedenberg also called for the creation of a national infrastructure bank. The bank would receive seed money from the federal government and then loan the money with interest for the development of projects. As the money was returned, the bank would use the increased funds to make more loans. The bank would be a self-perpetuating fund that would remove the funding of infrastructure projects from the political process.
“America is a country worth investing in, and investing in infrastructure is the best way to do it,” said Friedenberg. He continued, “I support the concept of an Infrastructure Bank, which is also supported by the Chamber of Commerce, Presidents Trump and Obama, and the AFL-CIO. This would be a self-perpetuating funding mechanism which supports public infrastructure projects. It would create jobs locally, support businesses, and be an investment in America. If elected, I’ll focus on improving our infrastructure and securing jobs that allow young and motivated workers to stay here and thrive here rather than move away. ”
The Special Election for the 12th Congressional District will take place May 21, 2019. You may find Marc’s platform and upcoming events at https://marcforpa.com/.