WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, yesterday introduced S.3842, the Rural Infrastructure Advancement Act. The legislation would establish a Rural Assistance Pilot Program to help rural communities and localities better utilize and leverage existing U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) funding and financing opportunities.
“Rural states, like my home state of Mississippi, often face challenges when trying to find the financial resources necessary to fund critical infrastructure projects, such as improving our roads and bridges,” said Wicker. “This bill would provide professional technical assistance to rural communities interested in utilizing existing financing programs. It is important that we provide these resources to support and advance rural infrastructure.”
The Rural Infrastructure Advancement Act would:
- Establish a Rural Assistance Pilot Program within the Bureau that retains expert firms, approved by DOT, to provide financial, technical, and legal assistance to potential rural project sponsors seeking to apply for a loan or grant.
- Authorize funding for DOT to carry out the pilot program.
- Direct DOT to develop an online portal for receipt of pilot program applications and provide written notice of its determination regarding each application.
- Direct DOT to post information about the pilot program online, including the resources available, application process, and status of submitted applications.
Click here to read the full bill.