Last week, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released a report which finds that local government capital spending on roads, bridges and water and sewer systems declined by some 8% between 2010 and 2012.

The Comptroller’s Office estimates that local governments should be spending about $3.9 billion annually to keep up with deteriorating capital assets, but they are spending just $1.2 billion each year – less than one-third of what is necessary to keep these assets in good working order.

The report includes a number of recommendations for local officials, including:

  • Identifying long-term and short-term infrastructure needs using a comprehensive capital planning process, and then working with the applicable state agencies to coordinate their approach to address these needs;
  • Partnering with state policymakers and work with federal agencies to develop strategies to provide additional funding for water, sewer and transportation systems;
  • Seeking additional grant funding and state and federal expertise as a component of the local capital planning process; and
  • Exploring the potential of public-private partnerships to address specific infrastructure needs.