Last updated: April 30. 2014 3:04PM - 204 Views
By - emowen@civitasmedia.com



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The Ohio Bonds to Fund Public Infrastructure Amendment, Issue 1, will appear on the Tuesday, May 6, primary election ballot.


If approved by voters, the measure will fund public infrastructure projects, including improvements to roads and bridges, by allowing the issuance of $1.875 billion in general obligation bonds over the course of 10 years.


According to Preble County Engineer Kyle Cross, many Ohioans may not realize they are much more familiar with the benefits of Issue 1 than they may think.


“ Issue one is the Ohio Public Works Commission Capital Improvements Program which has been in place for 27 years and has often been referred to as ‘Issue 2,’ which was its original ballot designation,” Cross noted in a recent statement.


“Since the program’s inception, Preble County has received $28,733,819 in grants and 0 percent interest loans. A majority of this assistance has been in the form of grants. With this program every single township, village, city, and other government entity in Preble County has successfully benefitted and received funding toward one of their projects that may have not been possible without this assistance,” Cross said.


“Some of the notable projects that have been a part of this program were the widening of Winters and Eaton-Lewisburg Roads, numerous bridge replacements throughout Preble County, numerous water and wastewater improvements in West Alexandria, Lewisburg, Eldorado, and Camden,” Cross explained.


“The passage of Issue 1 will not increase taxes, it is already built into the current budget, and creates an estimated 3,500 construction jobs over the next decade,” Cross noted.


“Preble County is a rural county where our revenue is very modest, but we still have the same basic needs for infrastructure for roads, bridges, water, and wastewater treatment as the more urbanized areas. This program has allowed Preble County and its townships and municipalities to provide these basic services by allowing us to stretch our revenue with the assistance it has provided,” Cross said.


Voters will see the following ballot language for Issue 1:


“Proposed by Joint Resolution of the General Assembly


“To enact Section 2s of Article VIII of the Constitution of the State of Ohio


“A majority yes vote is required for the adoption of Section 2s.


“This proposed amendment would:


“1. Authorize the state to issue bonds or other obligations to finance or assist in financing public


infrastructure capital improvements for local governments and other governmental entities. Capital


improvement projects would be limited to roads and bridges, waste water treatment systems, water


supply systems, solid waste disposal facilities, storm water and sanitary collection, storage, and


treatment facilities.


“2. Determine that such capital improvements are necessary to preserve and expand the public


infrastructure, ensure public health, safety and welfare, create and preserve jobs, enhance employment opportunities, and improve the economic welfare of the people of Ohio.


“3. Limit the total principal amount of the state general obligations issued under the amendment to no


more than $1.875 billion over a ten-year period, with no more than $175 million issued in each of the


first five fiscal years and no more than $200 million in each of the next five fiscal years. Any principal amount that could have been issued in any prior fiscal year, but was not issued, may subsequently be issued.


“4. Require that obligations issued under this amendment mature no later than thirty (30) years after their date of issuance, and that any obligation issued to retire or refund other obligations mature no later than the permitted maturity date for the obligations being retired or refunded.


“5. Authorize the General Assembly to pass laws implementing this amendment, including laws


establishing procedures for incurring and issuing obligations, and laws providing for the use of Ohio


products, materials, services and labor to the extent possible.


“If approved, the amendment shall take effect immediately.”

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