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State report: County needs $216.8M for infrastructure

Tennessee needs at least $43.4 billion of public infrastructure improvements to be in some stage of development during the five-year period of July 2015 through June 2020, a report released Tuesday, June 6, by Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) reads.

Public infrastructure improvements for Anderson County total $216.8 million, an increase of $21.5 million (11-percent) since last year’s report, according to a new report released by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR).

The current report, which is based on information provided by state and local officials, shows an increase of $29.7 billion in the entire state’s infrastructure needs since the first inventory was published in 1998 and an increase of $3 billion (7.4-percent) from the August 2016 report.

Statewide, the top three areas of need are:

• Transportation at $24.4 billion,

• Post-secondary education at $4.8 billion, and

• Water and wastewater at $4.3 billion.

Officials report Anderson County’s top three areas of need as:

• Transportation at $134.6 million,

• Post-secondary education at $16.5 million, and

• School renovations at $15.8 million.

The county’s total estimated cost for new or improved infrastructure is $2,862 per capita, compared with $6,578 per capita statewide. Anderson County’s estimated transportation needs per capita amount to $1,777, lower than the statewide estimate of $3,702 per capita. Anderson County reported post-secondary education infrastructure needs at $217 per capita, lower than the statewide average of $733 per capita. As for school renovations infrastructure improvements, Anderson County reported $209 per capita, which is lower than the statewide average of $336 per capita.

Less than half of the money needed to meet Tennessee’s public infrastructure needs has been identified. Of the $33.9 billion in needs for which the availability of funding was reported statewide, officials are confident that $12.5 billion (37-percent) of that amount will be available. About $94.7 million (52.1-percent) of the $181.9 million total funding needed to meet Anderson County’s infrastructure needs has been identified.

Among Tennessee’s 95 counties, Anderson County ranked:

• 17th in total population (75,749),

• 30th in population change between 2000 and 2015 (4,464),

• 52nd in population growth rate since 2000 (6.3-percent),

• 15th in population density at 224 people per square mile,

• 41st in total estimated infrastructure needs ($216.8 million),

• 87th in total estimated infrastructure needs per capita ($2,862), and

• 45th in total public school needs per student ($2,262).

This report is the only source of statewide information on the condition of public school buildings and the cost to put them all in good or better condition.

According to local school officials, 91.9-percent of local public schools are now in good or excellent condition. However, they estimate the cost to put the remaining 8.1-percent in good or better condition and keep the others in good or excellent condition at $2.0 billion, which is a $235 million increase from the cost reported in the previous inventory.

Officials in Anderson County rated 6.9-percent of their school buildings as less than good overall.

This compares favorably with the statewide figure of 8.1-percent of school buildings that are in less than good condition.

Local officials estimate the cost to upgrade or maintain existing schools to good or better condition at $2.4 million for the Anderson County School System, $1.2 million for the Clinton school system, and $1.8 million for the Oak Ridge school system.

The cost to bring all areas of all Tennessee public school buildings up to good condition is $2,314 per student statewide compared with $1,352 per student in Anderson County.

This years’ report is organized differently than in previous years.

A single statewide overview chapter provides information by type of infrastructure, the condition and needs of our public school facilities, the availability of funding to meet reported needs, and a comparison of county-area needs.

Following that section, one-page summaries for each county-area lists the estimated cost for all types of infrastructure by stage of development.

The summaries also highlight the top three types of infrastructure improvements needed in each county based on total estimated cost and provide comparisons of the infrastructure needed at public school systems to student enrollment. Further detailed county-area information about each type of infrastructure in the inventory, along with relevant legislation, inventory forms, and a glossary of terms, can be found in the appendixes to the report.

The full report can be found on TACIR’s web site at