Maine Water Pollution and Drinking Water, Question 4 (2003)

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The Maine Water Pollution and Drinking Water Bond Issue, also known as Question 4, was on the November 4, 2003 ballot in Maine as a legislatively-referred bond question, where it was approved. The measure issued $6.95 million in bonds to construct water and upgrade water pollution control facilities, clean up hazardous substance sites, replace waste water discharge systems and other projects to help reduce water pollution and protect drinking water resources.[1][2]

Election results

Maine Question 4 (2003)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 295,569 59.45%
No201,61740.55%

Election results via: Maine Secretary of State, Elections Division: Referendum Election Tabulations, November 4, 2003

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[1]

ME2003Nov Question 4.PNG

[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 $6,950,000 to raise funds for a variety of environmental purposes, as indicated in paragraphs #1 through 7 of the ballot question. 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 Environmental Protection would expend $5,000,000 of the bond proceeds as follows:

$2,000,000 would go into an existing State Revolving Loan Program to be matched by $10,000,000 in federal funds, and distributed as loans to municipalities to construct and upgrade wastewater treatment facilities;
$1,500,000 would be distributed in the form of grants to subsidize construction of water pollution control facilities in communities with lower median household incomes;
$500,000 would be allocated to the clean up of uncontrolled hazardous substance sites;
$500,000 would fund the Small Communities Grant program, to help municipalities, quasi-municipal entities and unorganized townships replace wastewater discharge systems that are affecting public water systems or shellfish areas or otherwise causing a public nuisance; and
$500,000 would provide grants to municipalities and individuals, to subsidize the removal of licensed overboard wastewater discharges into shellfish areas, great ponds, and drainage areas of less than 10 square miles. The percentage of grant support offered to individual homeowners would be based on income level.

The Department of Human Services would expend $1,200,000 of the bond proceeds in grants and loans to eligible public water systems, through the state’s Safe Drinking Water Act Revolving Loan Fund, for system improvements. These funds would be matched by $4,140,000 in federal funds.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources would expend the remaining $750,000 of the bond proceeds in grants to subsidize the development of environmentally sound water supplies for crop irrigation.

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 $6,950,000 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 total estimated life cost of these bonds was $8,765,688, with $6,950,000 in principal and $1,815,688 in interest, assuming 4.75 percent over 10 years.[1]

Path to the ballot

The bond issues denoted in Questions 4, 5 and 6 of the 2003 ballot in Maine were all contained in one legislative act. The full text of that act can be read here. Question 4 was described in Part B of the legislation. Question 5 was described in Part C, and Question 6 was described in Part A.[1]

See also

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