Financing projects for common good

When Gov. Gina M. Raimondo talks about investing $500 million over a number of years in the state’s crumbling school infrastructure, she is rightly congratulated for undertaking what long has been a neglected yet vital part of the scene.

And yet, there is an institution that has been that and more over the last 30 years. The R.I. Infrastructure Bank has financed more than $2.1 billion in projects that have helped the state drink clean water, make Narragansett Bay less polluted and become more energy efficient, all while saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

The headline on this week’s cover story is “R.I.’s unknown, essential lender,” and it could not be more ­appropriate.

Its nine lending programs include four having to do with water and others with roads and bridges, energy-efficient buildings and cleanup of brownfields. They are all key parts of Rhode Island being a place that supports the quality of life so many residents love.

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Maybe being under the radar has allowed RIIB to operate so effectively. Here’s hoping it can do more of the same for the next three decades.