Municipal Benefits: Public Safety, Good Governance, Resident Satisfaction
Gold Shovel Standard helps municipalities reduce damages to buried assets, saving lives, maximizing commerce, and avoiding wasteful use of municipal resources (such as first-responders and police).
Municipalities often consider the problem of line strikes to be the sole responsibility of the owner of the damaged infrastructure. Consequently, municipalities have distanced themselves from telecommunication line strikes or gas-line hits, for example, leaving damage resolution to the utilities involved.
Line strikes endanger residents, impact businesses, slow or stop commerce, distract fire and police resources, and disrupt the lives of the public. These disruptions can have a catastrophic impact on the lives of residents, derail businesses and taint the reputations of city leaders, regardless which entity owns the infrastructure.
Municipal leaders hold the keys to reducing line strikes, and an increasing number of public figures are assuming a leadership role in managing damages and ensuring public safety.
Good governance is about the processes for making and implementing positive decisions impacting public safety and the streamlined use of taxpayer money. Preventing infrastructure damage leads to better outcomes for local governments and their communities.
Local government should implement decisions and follow processes that make the best use of the available people, resources and time to ensure the best possible results for their community. Gold Shovel Standard provides municipalities with the tools to save their residents and businesses time and money, and save lives.
Damages to city infrastructure have a wide range of impacts, almost always negative. Strikes to gas and pipelines can injure or kill residents; strikes to electric lines can injure or kill workers and throw sections of the city into darkness; telecommunications line strikes can separate the public from life-saving necessities like first responders or police.
Aside from significant savings from reduced damages, there are other, more compelling, reasons to join Gold Shovel Standard. Critical resources, such as first-responders and police, are diverted during damages, decreasing their availability for other, less-preventable challenges. Businesses in high-strike zones suffer during service outages, and the overall quality of life erodes.
No investment is more wisely made than one which both drives safety and simultaneously improving the quality of life for constituents. Municipalities must never neglect the safety of the public and the institutions that support them without serious consequence.
Many municipalities poll their populations to gauge satisfaction with services, reliability of infrastructure, and responses to issues of public and workforce safety. These polls indicate that the health of municipality is often measured by the safety and reliability of its infrastructure, including key buried assets.
Residents can effectively discern whether or not their local governments are fulfilling their expectations. When residents are satisfied with the municipal performance, they may express greater support for their leadership. However, if local institutions are unable to satisfy their demands, citizens will not only express their discontent with local governments but seek means to improve services.
A municipality’s loudest advocates are its residents, and Gold Shovel Standard provides the tools to keep residents engaged and content.
Most municipalities can take the initial steps towards full Gold Shovel Standard implementation with little difficulty, regardless of whether they operate under federal or state statutes, or under city ordinances derived from the city’s charter and city council. Most municipalities will begin with the most straightforward items and roll out the program over time.
Gold Shovel Standard is easy to adopt with existing resources. The program does the majority of the work, with the main contribution of municipalities being their commitment to embrace the program for the benefit of their residents and businesses.
The current annual fee for municipalities is $1500. If membership fees present a hardship, Gold Shovel Standard may waive them upon receipt of a hardship waiver.
Gold Shovel Standard Foundation
The mission of the Gold Shovel Foundation is to facilitate and sponsor municipal participation in Gold Shovel Standard through financial incentives. The resulting Gold Shovel Standard Communities help keep buried infrastructure safe, preventing life-threatening damages.