Maine Land and Conservation Easement Purchases, Question 5 (2005)

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The Maine Land and Conservation Easement Purchases Bond Issue, also known as Question 5, was on the November 8, 2005 ballot in Maine as a legislatively-referred bond question, where it was approved. The measure issued $12 million in bonds to purchase land and conservation easements for conservation, water access, wildlife and fish habitat, outdoor recreation, hunting and fishing, farmland preservation and working waterfront preservation. These funds were to be matched by at least $7 million in private and public contributions.[1][2]

Election results

Maine Question 5 (2005)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 259,475 64.88%
No140,46935.12%

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 5: Bond Issue

Do you favor a $12,000,000 bond issue to purchase land and conservation easements statewide from willing sellers for conservation, water access, wildlife and fish habitat, outdoor recreation, including hunting and fishing, farmland preservation and working waterfront preservation to be matched by at least $7,000,000 in private and public contributions? [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 $12,000,000 to raise funds for the acquisition of land and interests in land for conservation, water access, outdoor recreation, fish and wildlife habitat, farmland preservation and working waterfront preservation, subject to a number of conditions and requirements. 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.

Proceeds of the sale of the bonds would be expended under the direction and supervision of the Land for Maine’s Future Board. Of the total proceeds, $2,000,000 must be made available to protect working waterfront properties that support commercial fisheries businesses, in accordance with the Maine Working Waterfront Access Pilot Program enacted contingent upon voter approval of this bond issue; $1,000,000 must be made available to acquire public access to water in accordance with the statutory provisions of Title 5, section 6203-A; and $1,000,000 must be made available to protect farmland in accordance with Title 5, section 6207. With the exception of working waterfront projects and unless required by applicable federal, state or local laws, hunting, fishing, trapping and public access may not be prohibited on lands acquired with these bond proceeds. In acquiring land or interests in land of local or regional significance, the Land for Maine’s Future Board is required to give preference to acquisitions that achieve benefits for multiple towns and address regional conservation needs.

Bond funds expended for conservation, recreation, farmland and public access to water must be matched with at least $5,000,000 in public and private contributions, 70% of which must be in the form of cash or other tangible assets. Any grants from the bond proceeds that are awarded by the Land for Maine’s Future Board for working waterfront projects must be matched, dollar for dollar, by the local governments or organizations receiving the grants and must be made subject to a condition that the property may not be used, altered or developed in a manner that precludes its use by commercial fisheries businesses. The Board also is required to retain a right of first refusal on any waterfront property acquisition.

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 $12,000,000 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 $15,564,000, with $12,000,000 in principal and $3,564,000 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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