The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is exploring private financing models to fund upgrades and repairs of civil works infrastructure as projects face insufficient budgets and a $60 billion recapitalization backlog, Federal News Radio reported Friday.
Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, USACE commanding general, has said current infrastructure conditions have led to equipment downtimes and service interruptions while current funds have allowed for only $2 billion a year to support the backlog projects, Jared Serbu writes.
“We’re going to have to work together in public-private partnerships to find some alternative financing means that come from outside the federal government,” said Bostick.
Serbu reports private financing has already been practiced in government for the housing of service members and renewable energy systems on military bases, but USACE needs to work on generating revenue for private investors on public infrastructure.
“At the end of the day, they need to make a profit, and we have to find ways to set up long-term contracts that will allow them to accrue benefits based on the investments they make,” Bostick explained.
He added that another way to fund USACE missions is to be able to keep most of its income instead of that money going to the Treasury Department for general federal expenses.
Bostick notes the agency is also planning a new system to manage infrastructure and coordinate funds.