Maine voters face several bond questions
Four bond issue questions will face Maine voters when they head to the polls Nov. 6. They are:
Question 2 (Bond Issue): Do you favor an $11.3 million bond issue to provide funds for capital to build a diagnostic facility for the University of Maine System; for capital improvements and equipment, including machine tool technology, for the Maine Community College System; and for capital improvements and equipment at the Maine Maritime Academy?
If approved, $7.8 million will go to the University of Maine system for a freestanding biosafety laboratory, including an animal diagnostic laboratory and a plant diagnostic and insect identification laboratory. A total of $3 million will be used to expand capital infrastructure improvements and equipment, including at least $1 million to be used for machine tool technology for the Maine community college system. Maine Maritime Academy will receive $500,000 for capital infrastructure improvements and equipment, according to information from the Maine Department of the Secretary of State.
Question 3 (Bond Issue): Do you favor a $5 million bond issue to purchase land and conservation easements statewide from willing sellers for public land and water access, conservation, wildlife or fish habitat and outdoor recreation, including hunting and fishing and deer wintering areas, and to preserve working farmland and working waterfronts to be matched by at least $5 million in private and public contributions?
Hunting, fishing, trapping and public access may not be prohibited on land acquired with bond proceeds, except to the extent of applicable state, local, federal laws, rules and regulations and except for working waterfront projects and farmland protection projects. Because portions of the state have deer populations that are struggling and deer wintering habitat protection is vital to the survival and enhancement of these populations, projects that conserve and protect deer wintering areas are considered to have special value and must receive preferential consideration, according to the information provided by Maine Secretary of State. Priority deer wintering areas are of at least 500 acres or contiguous with existing conservation land so that the combined acreage constitutes at least 500 acres, have been historically used by deer at some point since 1950 and are capable of providing shelter for deer on the effective date of this act or within 20 years.
Question 4 (Bond Issue): Do you favor a $51.5 million bond issue for improvements to highways and bridges, local roads, airports and port facilities, as well as for funds for rail access, transit buses and the LifeFlight Foundation, which will make the state eligible for at least $105.6 million in federal and other matching funds?
If approved, a total of $41 million will be used to repair and reconstruct highways and bridges that are considered to be vital to the expansion of business interests by the business and economic development sector and essential to public safety. The state will be eligible for at least $72 million in federal matching funds.
A total of $300,000 will be provided to LifeFlight Foundation, based in Camden, for weather observation stations and for helipads in rural communities with a history of high use or in remote locations to improve safety and access to emergency medical services. This will be matched by at least $300,000 in funding from local government sources.
A total of $3 million will be used for dredging the established commercial channel at Searsport, which serves existing port operations at Mack Point, and potential port development on Sears Island, which will make the state eligible for at least $10 million in matching federal funds. Another $2 million will be set aside for material handling equipment for the port at Mack Point, to be matched by at least $2 million in private sources.
Another $1 million will be for transit buses, which would make the state eligible for at least $9 million in federal matching funds.
A total of $1.5 million will be earmarked for the Industrial Rail Access Program and will be matched from private sources.
Another $1.5 million will be for warehousing facilities at the port at Eastport and $1.2 million will be for aviation facilities for which the state would be eligible for $10.8 million in federal matching funds.
Question 5 (Bond Issue): Do you favor a $7,925,000 bond issue to be expended over 2 years for revolving loan funds for drinking water systems and for wastewater treatment facilities, which will make the State eligible to secure $39,625,000 in federal grants?
If approved, a total of $3.59 million will be provided during a two-year period for the revolving loan fund for drinking water systems, which will make the state eligible to secure federal grants.
An additional $4.335 million will be provided during a two-year period for wastewater treatment facilities, opening the state's eligibility to secure federal grants.