Maine Agriculture, Environment and Water Projects, Question 3 (2005)

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The Maine Agriculture, Environment and Water Projects Bond Issue, also known as Question 3, was on the November 8, 2005 ballot in Maine as a legislatively-referred bond question, where it was approved. The measure issued $8.9 million in bonds for agricultural and environmental projects in anticipation of approximately $31 million in federal funds. These projects included sustainable water sources and irrigation system development, loans from a wastewater state revolving fund, grants from a small community grants program, support of public water system improvements and repairs and improvements to a veterinary technician facility at the University of Maine.[1][2]

Elections Results

Maine Question 3 (2005)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 228,970 57.76%
No167,42442.24%

Election results via: Maine Secretary of State, Elections Division: Referendum Election Tabulations, November 8, 2005

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[1]

Question 3: Bond Issue

Do you favor an $8,900,000 bond issue for purposes related to agriculture and the environment, largely relating to wate in anticipation of approximately $31,000,000 in federal funds to be used for sustainable water sources and irrigation system development, loans from a wastewater state revolving fund, grants from a small community grants program, support of public water system improvements and repairs and improvements to a veterinary technician facility at the University of Maine? [3]

Summary

The following description of the intent and content of this ballot measure was provided in the Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election:

This Act would authorize the State to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $8,900,000 for a variety of agricultural and environmental projects. The bonds would run for a period not longer than 10 years from the date of issue and would be backed by the full faith and credit of the State.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources would expend $1,000,000 of the proceeds of the sale of the bonds in grants to farmers to subsidize the development of crop irrigation systems and sustainable water sources. It is anticipated that an additional $800,000 in private funds would be invested in these projects.

The Department of Environmental Protection would expend $3,600,000 of the proceeds of the sale of the bonds as follows:

  • $2,600,000 would go into an existing State Revolving Loan Fund, to be matched by $13,000,000 in federal funds, and distributed as low interest loans to municipalities to repair, improve or upgrade wastewater treatment facilities; and
  • $1,000,000 would be distributed in grants to municipalities to remove and replace failing septic systems through the existing Small Communities Grant Program.

The Department of Health and Human Services would expend $3,500,000 of the bond proceeds in grants and low interest loans to eligible public water systems, through Maine’s Safe Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund, to construct and upgrade public drinking water systems. These funds would be matched by $17,500,000 in federal funds.

The University of Maine System would expend the remaining $3,500,000 of the bond proceeds to make repairs and improvements to the University’s livestock research and teaching facility at the J.F. Witter Center in Old Town, Maine.

If approved, the bond authorization would take effect 30 days after the Governor’s proclamation of the vote.

A statement of the Treasurer describing the financial considerations of this bond issue is published together with this statement.

A “YES” vote approves authorization of a $8,900,000 bond issue to finance all of the above activities.
A “NO” vote disapproves the bond issue in its entirety.

[3]

Maine Secretary of State, [1]

Fiscal note

The estimated total lifetime cost of the bonds was $11,543,300, with $8,900,000 in principal and $2,643,300 in interest, assuming 5.4 percent over 10 years.[1] The following is the state treasurer's statement that accompanied the Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election outlining the current bonded debt of the state as of June 30, 2005.

ME2005Nov Ballot Treasurer Statement.PNG

[3]

—David Lemoine, Treasurer of State, [1]

Path to the ballot

Questions 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the November 8, 2005 ballot were all contained within one single legislative act, the full text of which can be read here. It was approved on August 8, 2005 as Chapter 462 of the Public Laws of 2005.[1]

See also

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