As the federal and state governments consider how much money to appropriate for helping to rebuild the Coast, other options for financing should be explored.
Several states and many foreign countries allow private sector investors and developers to build and own public infrastructure. In Europe, many highways are privately financed and operated, and are supported either by tolls or by long-term leases with the government.� Airports, water systems, and many public school facilities are built, owned and maintained by private developers.
Several states have enacted laws to encourage these public-private partnerships. The result has been a flood of private money for investment in new and upgraded roads. This is especially popular in areas where new routes were built to relieve traffic congestion.
This kind of private investment not only frees local and state governments from the burden of up-front financing or heavy debt loads; it also frees them from the daily management and maintenance of these structures, which then allows them to focus on other matters that only they can address.
For more ideas on rebuilding, go to rebuildingmississippi.org.