Domino’s Pizza is donating $5,000 to the City of Fitchburg, Massachusetts to fund pothole and road infrastructure repairs in the city.
In June, Domino’s Pizza launched PavingForPizza.com, a promotional website allowing people to nominate their city for a onetime grant dedicated to pothole repair.
Fitchburg is the latest municipality to be selected to receive the funds. It will use its award to purchase asphalt mix for road repair, Fitchburg, Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Works Lenny Laakso told Sentinel & Enterprise reporter Amanda Burke on July 14.
“There’s nowhere near enough money to address the needs we see in the streets,” Laakso told Burke. “If anybody’s willing to step up and help us out, that’s a good thing, kind of like a public-private partnership.”
Good Pizza, Good Roads
Baruch Feigenbaum, assistant director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute, which publishes Budget & Tax News, says the pizza company’s road-building promotion is good news for everyone.
“The great news is there’s no effect on taxpayers because Domino’s is going to fund it privately,” Feigenbaum said. “This builds on public-private partnerships that we’ve had going on for 20 years or longer. I think this is the next step in a really innovative process.”
Public-private partnerships are becoming increasingly popular, Feigenbaum says.
“Due to some changes in law, due to the fact that the gas tax by itself no longer provides what most of these states need, and also due to something called private activity bonds, which level the tax treatment of public debt and private debt, we’re seeing a lot greater use of public-private partnerships now than we used to,” Feigenbaum said.
Power of Advertising
Mark Thornton, a senior fellow at the Mises Institute, says legislators can create incentives for businesses to pitch in and help government meet public needs.
“I think lawmakers have two things that they can do: cooperate with people who offer assistance and then also to advertise the need of assistance,” Thornton said. “To help build a local, public high school football stadium, that’s an area where construction companies would love to get involved. They’d love to have their name on the stadium. Businesses would love to help maintain city parks, as long as they get some kind of concession in terms of advertising their goodwill.”
Smoother roads with no strings attached for taxpayers please everybody, Feigenbaum says.
“Who doesn’t want a pothole on their route to work every day filled?” Feigenbaum said. “Whoever’s willing to fill it, whether it’s Domino’s or the government, that’s great. If taxpayers don’t have to pay for it, that’s even better.”