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Report shows marked improvement for cities’ fiscal outlook

Officials are overwhelmingly optimistic about the health and direction of local fiscal conditions for the first time since the recession, according to the National League of Cities’ 29th annual City Fiscal Conditions. The report confirms the first positive growth in five years, coupled with resumption of hiring among League members.

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Transportation funding initiatives prevail on election day

Voters across the nation expressed support for increased investment in surface transportation, approving 60 out of 90 related initiatives on November ballots. The approved measures will provide nearly $21 billion in additional funds for transportation projects, reports the American Road and Transportation Builders Association Transportation Investment Advocacy Center.

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Contractor cited in job fatality

OSHA has proposed $14,000 in fines for Van Kirk Sand and Gravel, which operates as Van Kirk Brothers Contracting, for two serious safety violations related to a July 2014 incident in Holdrege, Neb., where two workers were injured, one fatally, while installing drainage structures. An inspection found that one of the employees sustained puncture wounds from a bucket after it disconnected from the excavator and rolled into the trench from a height of about 4 feet. He died from his injuries later that day. The other suffered contusions and abrasions in the incident and has since returned to work. Van Kirk was cited for failing to train workers in the recognition of unsafe conditions and to teach them how to access emergency medical services from a job site.

EPA ‘Waters’ rule clouds aggregate supplies, concrete plant management, construction permits

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Government Affairs staff is tracking the Environmental Protection Agency’s expansion of the jurisdiction of waters covered under the Clean Water Act, noting how a proposed rule “holds unnecessary and overreaching regulatory implications that would adversely affect ready mixed concrete operations, such as washout pits, sedimentation ponds, settling basins.”

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Johnson County Pipe affords federal lawmaker ‘hands on’ plant tour

GA-PipeIa-150When Representative Roger Williams (TX-25), a key House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee member, toured Johnson County Pipe in Alvarado, Texas, he shook hands, observed advanced cage and product machinery, and then took controls to complete a concrete pipe section. His visit was the latest in a series of American Concrete Pipe Association-organized plant tours aimed at underscoring the industry’s commitment to quality production and worker safety, while reinforcing concerns about the federal government’s insufficient infrastructure funding.  

 

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