Presidential Overburden for May 2020
IMAA Board President John Schmidt Reflects on Essential Business and Infrastructure Spending During this Time of Change.
Dear IMAA Members,
I hope that all of you, your families, and your teams are remaining healthy as we have been living with the COVID-19 virus for what feels like more than just two months. The impact of this virus is unlike any of us have seen and with no clear end in sight we should prepare for many more months of change to come. In times of change, everyone responds in different ways and with different emotions. However, the one thing that gives me great confidence is that Hoosiers are strong, resilient, and willing to help each other in times of need.
Our industry has been fortunate to have been able to continue to operate during the Statewide shutdown as part of the Essential Critical Infrastructure. This privilege was quickly pulled in several other states when industry companies did not take necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus. I am proud to say that shortly after the outbreak was identified, many of our association members began putting in procedures to keep our employees, customers, and vendors safe, and we continue to adapt and adjust our procedures as we have learn more about the virus and its transmission. If anyone is looking for industry best practices, I would recommend that you contact Katie at the Association, and she can provide you with “Resources for Operators During the COVID-19 Crisis.” I also want to commend all our member companies that assisted with critical safety supplies for our front-line heroes in our communities that were battling the virus.
So now as the State is beginning to reopen, we are starting to process the economic and employment impacts the shutdown has had. Some initial projections are indicating the cost to local governments across Indiana could be more than $200 million in tax revenue. With the loss in revenue comes the concern that infrastructure spending will be reduced.
During our last association meeting, we had the opportunity to hear from INDOT Deputy Commissioner of Construction Roland Fegan. We were pleased to hear that INDOT is staying with their current budget, for now, and does not anticipate reductions in the lettings for 2020. While this is good news in the near-term, we will most likely see reductions in 2021 unless we see some relief funding for infrastructure at a federal level.
While these are challenging times, I encourage you and your teams to stay involved in the Association so that we can continue to learn and support each other and ensure our interests are being voiced with our elected officials.
As your IMAA President for 2020, I am excited to be working with our Association leaders; Calvin, Katie, Doug, and Andrea, as well as all those working on the Board and our Committees. Finally, I want to thank Nathan Wanstrath for his great leadership as IMAA President over the past year.
Stay well, and let’s keep Indiana moving forward!
John Schmidt, US Aggregates
IMAA 2020 President of the Board