Miller invited to White House to discuss infrastructure

By: Julie Snyder | C&G Newspapers | Published June 8, 2017

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MACOMB COUNTY — Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller was invited by President Donald Trump to visit the White House June 8, after press time, to discuss local infrastructure needs.

Miller is one of a handful of state and local leaders invited to the White House to provide the president with first-hand input on local infrastructure priorities and concerns, according to a press release from Miller’s office.

“The sewer collapse we are dealing with along 15 Mile Road is just the canary in the coal mine in terms of our infrastructure needs across the country,” Miller states in the press release.

Miller, R-Harrison Township, was formerly a congresswoman, Secretary of State, Macomb County Treasurer and Harrison Township Supervisor before being elected Public Works Commissioner in November 2016.

Shortly after the election, on Dec. 24,  an 11-foot-diameter sewer interceptor line collapsed under 15 Mile Road in Fraser, opening up a massive sinkhole. The repair of that project, which caused two homes to be demolished and a third to be condemned, is not expected to be complete until Thanksgiving and is slated to cost an estimated $75 million.

“Our underground infrastructure across our nation in too many places is antiquated and inadequate,” Miller said. “Unfortunately, because it is out of sight, too often it has been out of mind.”

Trump this week released a budget proposal that is designed to spur $1 trillion in new infrastructure spending over the next nine years. The proposal seeks to support funding for new or upgraded roads and bridges, as well as underground infrastructure needs, such as water and sewer lines.

“Clearly, infrastructure investment will spur additional economic growth,” Miller stated in the release. “Throughout history, from the wagon trails of the past to today’s highways and water and sewer service — economic vitality is enhanced where the infrastructure is enhanced.”

At the meeting, Miller and a small group of governors and mayors were slated to meet with Vice President Mike Pence, hold a series of working group discussions with Cabinet-level staffers, and then brief Trump.

Miller is the only person from Michigan who will participate in the infrastructure meeting with the president.

“I am honored to be able to bring Macomb County’s and Michigan’s voice to the table,” she stated. “As we deal with what may very well be the largest infrastructure emergency in the nation right now, we appreciate the president’s interest and his desire to hear directly about the needs of our local communities as we deal with these challenges. Certainly infrastructure is a bipartisan issue. I’m hopeful it can be an issue that garners support from both sides of the aisle.”

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