It is a great honor to be installed as NUCA’s 53rd Chairman of the Board at the annual Convention and Exhibit in Naples, Florida, March 14-16. I am grateful to every individual who put this year’s convention on their schedule and traveled to support NUCA, our leadership, our contractors, and especially our National Partners. I would like to thank Vice President Steve Ford and Garney Construction for their confidence and support of my term as NUCA Chairman. I am most proud to represent Garney, a long-standing member of NUCA, during my year as Chairman of the Board. I want to thank my wife Dianne, for participating and joining in at many NUCA events throughout the last 10 years – the friendships established and experiences we have enjoyed are priceless!
I would like to recognize the many individuals whose commitment to NUCA has been invaluable – our volunteer Board Members, who are completing two-year terms, and those members who are our newly installed Board. The NUCA Board serves quietly with little acknowledgement of their service. The column to the right lists our new leadership, please extend a personal thank you to these individuals for selflessly serving and working to improve your industry.
A very special thank you goes to our outgoing Chairman Mark Fuglevand for his many years of leadership and service to NUCA. He has been a level-headed, prepared, decisive, and committed leader on the executive committee. It has been an honor to work with Mark and I am happy to call him a friend.
As I look at the year ahead as NUCA Chairman, I am committed to bringing both the passion and dedication that both our recent Chairs, and our founding members brought 55 years ago. The NUCA founders believed that utility construction, installation and repair, was for the betterment our communities, our states, and our nation. And, when they formed NUCA 55 years ago, their 88th Congress in Washington felt it necessary to fund the nation’s infrastructure with $375 million through the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, later forming what is today the Federal Transit Authority (FTA). The Act, approved on July 9, 1964, granted $375 million for infrastructure, was not only aiding highways and rail, but water, power and communication as well. The 88th Congress found; “(1) that the predominant part of the Nation’s population is located in its rapidly expanding metropolitan and other urban areas, which generally cross the boundary lines of local jurisdictions and often extend into two or more States; (2) that the welfare and vitality of urban areas, and the effectiveness of housing, urban renewal, highway, are being jeopardized by the deterioration or inadequate provision of transportation facilities and services, the intensification of traffic congestion, and the lack of coordinated transportation and other development planning on a comprehensive and continuing basis.”
Can we say anything different regarding the infrastructure of our Nation in 2019 that this Act didn’t say in 1964? The nation is still expanding, boundary lines still cross local and state jurisdictions, housing is a major issue within our urban, suburban and rural areas, the deterioration of our nation’s infrastructure and the lack of coordinated development planning on a comprehensive basis are all still a major issue. And do you think that we can even COMPARE the “intensification of traffic congestion” in 1964 to today? You see, if we compare our deteriorating infrastructures of today to what NUCA’s Founders dealt with 55 years ago, we find the comparisons are astoundingly similar. Comparatively, that $375 million in 1964 put it in todays’ dollars is over $3 billion. Wouldn’t it be nice to utilize that $3 billion to grow our companies the same way contractors did in the late 1960s? They formed the National Utility Contractor’s Association to lobby the legislature for the betterment of their communities through improving their utility systems.
We need to engage our local and state representatives on a regular basis and converge annually for the Washington Summit every May, to become a force to be reckoned with – because our nation needs better water, better wastewater/stormwater handling, and more efficient power and communications. If you are involved with the utility industry in any way, please join me in 2019-2020, so that our message is heard loud and clear. We need to grow this message beyond our current efforts in order for our association and businesses to thrive.
Thank you for your ongoing support. Let’s continue to advance and grow NUCA together!
Dan Buckley, NUCA Chairman of the Board/Garney Construction