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Ann Arbor, MI. On Friday, April 9, 2021, Commissioner Pratt participated as one of three panelists in a briefing by the American Public Works Association (APWA) to members of the US House of Representatives Public Works and Infrastructure Caucus.
Members of Congress, Congressional staff, along with APWA members and staff, discussed the role public works plays in protecting and maintaining the nation’s vast array of critical infrastructure before, during, and after disasters.
Panelists emphasized the need for resilient infrastructure policy and funding as a benefit in every community, particularly to reduce the impacts of natural disasters. Panelists reviewed the impacts of a variety of natural disasters and recovery efforts in their communities. Unfortunately, last year was a record year for US disaster recovery, with 22 natural disasters needing federal recovery assistance. Nearly 87 billion dollars has been estimated and allocated for federal response to disasters in 2020.
Panelists were also proud to provide examples showing that despite many obstacles during the COVID-19 pandemic public works professionals across America kept the lights on and water running every day, removed trash every week, and adapted public roadways and sidewalks for outdoor dining. Despite the loss of life at many agencies, public works professionals continued to provide quality of life services and "first in, last out" disaster response that is sometimes taken for granted.
Commissioner Pratt thanked the thousands of essential workers who showed up every day to perform these duties and more in challenging times.
Pratt is currently serving his third term as Washtenaw County’s Water Resources Commissioner and was appointed to the American Public Works Association’s Government Affairs Committee in 2020.
The mission of the Office of the Water Resources Commissioner is to provide for the health, safety and welfare of Washtenaw County citizens and the protection of surface water and the environment and to promote the long term environmental and economic sustainability of Washtenaw County by providing stormwater management, flood control, development review and water quality programs. Visit www.washtenaw.org/drains.
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