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Managing Delaware’s federal infrastructure spending

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Delaware Public Media

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will pour billion of dollars into the First State.

But how will the state manage spending that money? The Biden Administration recommended states name implementation coordinators – and in Delaware that job falls to Greg Patterson.

We recently sat down with Patterson to discuss his role and how infrastructure spending will play out in the First State with this massive influx of funding.

Delaware Public Media's Tom Byrne interviews Delaware's Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Greg Patterson

The First State will receive more than $2 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed in November.

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State of Delaware
Delaware’s Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Greg Patterson

To manage that flow of money, Gov. Carney tapped Greg Patterson to serve as the state’s Implementation Coordinator for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding.

Patterson, who has worked for each of the last three governors and most recently as DNREC chief of staff, says it’s a major undertaking.

“This is not a stimulus package the way that some previous things have been both for COVID and if you go back to the 2009 economic stimulus package,” Patterson emphasized. “This is an infrastructure investment. These are projects that are going to take years to plan and to implement but that will make a difference for generations.”

Patterson also says Gov. Carney has established some key principles to guide this spending on areas like transportation and clean water.

They include seeking once in a generation ideas only possible with this level of funding, while addressing climate change and reaching traditionally underserved communities. Patterson says they also hope to create jobs.

But funds will flow through some 375 different programs and funding lines within the federal government with a variety of formats and requirements.

Patterson notes that’s why the Biden administration suggested states have an implementation coordinator.

“So once you get out to that level of different programs and different things that are being funded, and different ways they will get here, via about 9 different federal agencies, as I said some of them dozens of programs within those agencies, it gets a little complicated and may need a little coordination,” he explained.

Patterson adds these funds will be spent over 5 to 10 years, with the hope the impact will be felt in Delaware for decades.

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