Ditchmen • NUCA of Florida Ditchmen - March 2020 - Page 14

Tallahassee, Florida 32301 850-566-7824 March 23, 2020 The Honorable Ron DeSantis Governor of Florida The Plaza Level 05, The Capitol 400 South Monroe Street Tallahassee, Florida 32399 Dear Governor DeSantis: On behalf of the National Association of Underground Utility Contractors of Florida (NUCA of Florida), we urge you to consider policy proposals to support the underground utility construction sector of the economy during the Coronavirus crisis. Our underground utility contractor members stand with you during this challenging time and look to your leadership to steer Florida through this pandemic. In order to help stabilize the construction industry in the near term, we ask you to designate construction as “Essential Services” or “Critical Infrastructure Workforce” in Florida. Established in 1980 and comprised of six Chapters throughout the state, NUCA of Florida represents more than 350 member companies in the underground utility industry, including contractors, material and equipment suppliers and manufacturers involved in water, sewer, gas, cable and telephone installations accomplished through open excavation or trenchless technology. Our members complete public works projects that are critical to public health safety, help protect Florida’s drinking water supply and maintain wastewater and drainage infrastructure. As declarations and public health orders are issued as a result of the crisis, it is essential that communities have access to construction professionals to build and maintain essential services including: building, plumbing, electrical, HVAC systems, solid waste, potable water, wastewater treatment plants and power generations. Underground utility construction should be designated as “essential” because it is necessary to maintain public health safety and sanitation, including necessary maintenance and repair work. We encourage you to recognize the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency Coronavirus Guidance for Essential Infrastructure Workforce. We respectfully request that you identify underground utility 12 DITCHMEN • MARCH 2020