A nationwide analysis of U.S. Mayor “State of the City” speeches showed that infrastructure construction remains the No. 1 priority for top municipal officials, marking the second-straight year cities are most looking to upgrade its services.
The National League of Cities report released Wednesday showed that more than a third of U.S. mayors made infrastructure the top focus of their annual addresses. Maintenance and new construction types varied widely, including roads, bridges, water systems, sewer systems, transportation, water treatment and reclamation. Precast concrete figures greatly into all of these projects.
For example, according to Route-Fifty.com, cities such as Aiken, S.C., and Fargo, N.D., are building new water treatment plants. Fargo Mayor Timothy Mahoney also described progress in an effort to connect his city to water sources 170 miles to the west, in order to protect against drought-related shortages.
Economic development and workforce supply also ranked high among mayors’ focus. Municipal government staffs have declined nearly 4 1/2 percent during the past two years with qualified replacements difficult to find. To recruit and retain employees, the report said, cities are increasing pay and other benefits.