Implementation of voter-approved Maine Question 3 remains pending rail line negotiations

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June 29, 2010

AUGUSTA, Maine: A portion of Maine's Question 3 remains uncertain. Despite the approval of Question 3, the purchase of a 233-mile-long rail line in northern Maine remains in limbo. According to reports the anticipated purchase price for the rail line is $17 million, however before the deal is made a federal agency has to approve the company's request to abandon the line. Despite continued negotiations, one thing is certain, the state of Maine will not be running the railroad. "I know there's still people who think DOT is going to run a railroad -- no, we don't do that, we're not allowed to do that," said Transportation Commissioner David Cole. According to reports the state transportation officials and the Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway have until July 9, 2010 to reach final negotiations regarding the purchase price of the rail line.[1]

The legislatively-referred constitutional amendment proposed a bond package that included: $24.8 million for highways, $16 million for rails, $6.5 million for the Ocean Gateway Deep Water Pier in Portland, $500,000 for small harbor improvements, $5 million for Ocean Wind Power R&D and $5 million for the improved dental services. On June 8, 2010 voters approved the measure by 58%.

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