July 27, 2009 By Jim McKay, Editor
Heavy rains in April threatened levees and the city of Jamestown, N.D. Since then, the Army Corps of Engineers has embarked on a nationwide quest to cut down every tree within 15 feet of a levee. The rationale is that the roots of nearby trees weaken levees.
The agency wants to eliminate trees along more than 100,000 miles of levees, which has drawn the ire of environmentalists and others who say it's unnecessary and that the trees can actually help stabilize the levees.
Photo by Michael Raphael/FEMA
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.