Government leader says COVID-19 might force infrastructure spending changes
The Executive Director of the Wisconsin Towns Association says spending priorities for governments might shift because of COVID-19. Mike Koles says, “Broadband, for the first time, might end up trumping from an issues standpoint the hard infrastructure.”
Koles tells Brownfield COVID-19 has shown that the digital divide in rural America is real and it needs to be addressed so everyone has fast online access. “If we want 21st-century farms and 21st-century leaders to live in those rural communities and school kids to remain in those communities, and build farms and build big businesses and successful small businesses, you’ve got to have broadband, and we don’t have that everywhere right now.”
Koles says the interruptions to the supply chain have taught everyone how important the hard infrastructure of roads and bridges are, but states, counties, and towns will have to make tough decisions with fewer tax dollars coming in at the same time more students need Internet access and farms upgrade their technology.
Koles spoke to Brownfield at the Agricultural Community Engagement meetings hosted by the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin.