Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett is crowdsourcing ideas for local projects that could potentially be funded through the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that became law in November.
Plaskett has launched an online survey where constituents can pin a location on an interactive map of the U.S. Virgin Islands or type in a specific address to report local infrastructure issues that need attention.
“The more issues or ongoing projects that you report, the more information we will have to help redirect federal funding to these projects,” Plaskett said in a press release announcing the initiative.
“Survey respondents will help us expand our knowledge of issues with public transportation, flooding or water access, electrical outages, road and/or sidewalk repair, and broadband or internet access. Additionally, the survey provides a medium for Virgin Islanders here and abroad to share their suggestions and vision for what building back better looks like for our territory,” said Plaskett.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, billed as a “once-in-a generation investment” in the nation’s infrastructure, “will allow the Virgin Islands an opportunity to make a quantum leap and develop not just a more sustainable infrastructure, but one that tackles climate change issues along with providing sustainable jobs,” according to Plaskett’s office.
The act allocates some $1.2 trillion in funding for a sweeping array of infrastructure projects, from roads and bridges to ports, waterways and airports, to electric vehicle charging stations and internet connectivity.
According to the White House, $21 billion of the funding will go to tackling “legacy pollution” in America, such as Brownfield and Superfund sites, with an emphasis on underserved and minority communities.
“It is imperative that the Virgin Islands take advantage of this opportunity,” said Plaskett.
The congresswoman, however, cautioned that residents’ suggestions are just that, and input in the online survey does not guarantee that a project will get funded.
“Please understand that these are suggestions,” the preamble to the survey reads. “We promise we will forward your suggestions to the appropriate Virgin Islands government agency but final projects and allocation of funding will be determined outside of the congressional office.”
According to the press release announcing the survey, responses will be submitted to the governor’s office and made available for private developers for potential projects under the new infrastructure law.
Click here to access the survey itself. See a video demonstration of how to use the survey below.