Bipartisan infrastructure investments at the national level will help cities throughout Utah and across the country continue to grow in a responsible, climate-friendly way. As discussions around our national infrastructure continue to take shape in Washington, it will be critical for Utah’s congressional delegation — including Sen. Mitt Romney — to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats and the Biden administration to advance critical infrastructure investments that will create jobs, power a stronger economy, and protect our precious natural resources.
One of my proudest accomplishments during my tenure as mayor of Sandy has been to help move the city forward into the 21st century, embracing technology and innovation to strengthen the efficacy and responsiveness of municipal government and help create stronger communities. The CityServe App that my administration developed and released has empowered local residents to report issues like potholes, traffic light outages or delayed trash pick-up — and it has enabled our public works and transportation departments to more efficiently respond to these issues in real-time.
Incorporating and increasing the use of technology in city government has been a small but important step toward building a more-connected “smart city” of the future. To that end, we have also just recently announced an agreement we reached with Google Fiber to provide high-speed, high-bandwidth internet service to Sandy City residents. These efforts will help provide a highly competitive choice for high-speed internet service for homes and businesses across the city, something that has become a fundamental need in our increasingly digital society.
Additionally, I was also extremely proud to help lead the “charge” in expanding and building out the cities electric vehicle charging infrastructure and investing in other clean energy technology to advance Sandy’s commitment to sustainability. These upgrades to our critical infrastructure are vital if we are going to continue evolving our cities to keep pace with the technological advancements of the 21st century. Not only that, but they will help spur local economic development while continuing to aid in carbon reduction.
The transformational impact that local clean energy and infrastructure investment has had on Sandy and other cities throughout Utah illustrate the need for broader infrastructure investment at the national level. Any infrastructure deal passed by Congress should include similar electric vehicle charging grants and investments in modernizing our energy grid in order to help cities our cities increase their use of clean energy.
During the rest of my tenure as mayor, I look forward to continuing to work with Sandy City officials, local businesses and our wonderful residents to advance a forward-leaning vision of what our city could be, especially with regard to modernizing our infrastructure and increasing our clean energy capabilities through innovative technology. Ultimately, for our efforts to be as successful as possible, we will need a similar commitment by Congress to include clean energy investments as part of a national infrastructure package.
Investing in clean energy as part of our overall infrastructure will help improve the quality of life, create 21st century jobs, spur new economic growth in our communities and support a stronger, more resilient economy across the state and throughout the nation. These are issues that impact all Americans, regardless of where they land on the political spectrum. Therefore, it is one that Congress must work to address in a truly bipartisan fashion.
I am hopeful that Sen. Romney will help bring his reputation of reaching across the aisle to the ongoing infrastructure discussions in Washington. It is time for Republicans and Democrats to work together to provide the critical infrastructure investments that will help Utah cities — and cities throughout this great nation — grow and evolve in a climate friendly, economically empowering way.
Kurt Bradburn is the mayor of Sandy.