LAWRENCE, Ind. — Last week six mayors from cities in Indiana signed a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill that is still being discussed in both chambers.
The letter of bipartisan mayors includes four Democrats, Joe Hogsett (Indianapolis), Tom Henry (Fort Wayne), John Hamilton (Bloomington), Jerome Prince (Gary), along with two Republicans in Jim Brainard (Carmel) and Steve Collier (Lawrence).
Collier told All Indiana Politics that it was an easy decision to sign onto the letter.
“There’s no question that cities across the nation are focusing, necessarily so, on infrastructure improvements,” he said. “Anything that was going to provide an avenue for us to be able to certainly protect and preserve and to extend my city was something I was going to be in favor of.”
The bill is worth roughly $1.2 trillion and will provide money to cities with populations of 50,000 or greater. It’s targeted money which means that cities who qualify to receive funding in the bill can only spend it on infrastructure improvements. That’s something that Collier likes about the bill.
“There are only certain things that the money can be spent on. It’s not just a grant of money to spend what you want to spend it on,” Collier said. “We’ll spend a lot of the money on water and sewer main replacement, extending our water supply. We will do some paving.”
Collier said that he has not gotten any pushback from fellow Republicans in Indiana for throwing his support behind the infrastructure plan. He said because of the strict rules in how the money can be spent he feels many Republican mayors in smaller cities in Indiana would do the same thing.