One of the major functions of county government is to build and maintain a network of infrastructure facilities. The most common county infrastructure facilities include the network of local streets, roads, and bridges. Counties are also responsible for many water delivery systems, flood control channels, wastewater systems, and reservoirs. In addition, some counties maintain a variety of recreational facilities such as lakes and parks.
Despite infrastructure being one of the key components of a county’s mission, rural county infrastructure needs have largely gone unmet. State and federal funding has been in steady decline over the years as existing funding sources have been retargeted to meet more urban and suburban regions’ infrastructure needs, to the detriment of rural communities.
If California’s rural counties are to be a strong and diversified component of the state and federal economic portfolio, RCRC believes existing infrastructure funding must be retained and increased to meet the ever-growing demands across all regions of the State. As part of this process, RCRC believes the federal government, state legislature and local governments must work together with partners in both the public and private sector to identify and strategize innovative funding approaches for high priority projects that help protect the economic well-being and quality of life for rural communities.