So how do we pay for New Jersey’s aging stormwater infrastructure?
A panel of experts took on this question at New Jersey Future’s 2018 Redevelopment Forum session on the topic. The resounding answer was by allowing for stormwater utilities to be established in New Jersey. According to the 2017 Western Kentucky University Stormwater Utility Survey, there are now 1,639 stormwater utilities nationally, that operate in 40 states. New Jersey does not have a single stormwater utility.
“We have serious stormwater issues, we have those, but we don’t have money.” Senator Bob Smith kicked off the forum session by talking about New Jersey’s stormwater challenges and why they have not been addressed. “Infrastructure doesn’t vote, and does not have a constituency,” he said, but he thinks that the time has come. In January, he introduced Senate Bill 1073, which authorizes municipalities, counties, and certain authorities to establish stormwater utilities.
Forum plenary session addresses what we can learn from Amazon, what are the trends driving economic development around the country, and where New Jersey can focus its efforts. Spoiler alert: It’s about creating great places.
What are the key things that are driving economic development and growth around the country? During the Redevelopment Forum plenary session, moderator Chris Zimmerman, Smart Growth America’s vice president for economic development, suggested that a quick look at what Amazon is seeking can help answer that.