The Details of Question 3

Question 3 on the state ballot: Bond to improve transportation, waterfront infrastructures

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 11:45am

Maine voters will see several proposals on their state ballot Nov. 6 including four bond issues.

One of those bond issues, appearing as Question 3 on the statewide ballot, would provide $100 million, if approved, “for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities and equipment related to ports, piers, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails” and be used “to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds.” Furthermore, the measure, if approved, would provide $5 million for the “upgrade of municipal culverts at stream crossings.” 

According to the Maine Office of the Treasurer, “the total estimated life time cost is $135,150,000 representing $106,000,000 in principal and $29,150,000 in interest (assuming interest at 5.0% over 10 years).” Furthermore, the Maine Office of Fiscal and Program Review notes this bond issue would have “no significant fiscal impact” aside from the debt service costs outlined. 

According to the Maine Office of the Attorney General, the bonds would run for not longer than 10 years from date of issue and “would be backed by the full faith and credit of the State.” 

$80,000,000: Administered by the Maine Department of Transportation, this amount would go towards highways, secondary roads and bridges to “construct or reconstruct state highways that have been designated as Priority 1, 2 or 3 by the Department of Transportation,” “repair secondary roads in partnership with municipalities pursuant to the existing Municipal Partnership Initiative program” and “replace and rehabilitate bridges.” The Maine Office of the Attorney General notes that under the Municipal Partnership Initiative program, municipalities are required to contribute at least half of the project costs, while highway and bridge projects “are matched with federal funds on a ratio of 1.1 to 1 (federal to state) dollars.” Lastly, it should be noted these bond proceeds are “expected to leverage” approximately $88 million in federal and local matching funds. 

$20,000,000: Administered by the Maine Department of Transportation, this amount “would be spent on a variety of projects, including facilities, equipment and property acquisition related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, aviation, railroads (both passenger and freight), transit (public transportation) and bicycle and pedestrian trails.” The Maine Office of the Attorney General further notes these bond proceeds are “expected to be matched” by approximately $49 million in federal, local and private funds. 

$1,000,000: This amount would be expended by Maine Maritime Academy for “remediation of and improvements to its waterfront pier in Castine.” 

$5,000,000: This amount would be administered by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection “as a competitive grant program to upgrade or replace municipal culverts at stream crossings in order to improve fish and wildlife habitats, reduce flood hazards and improve storm water management.” Furthermore, “local governments, municipal conservation commissions, soil and water conservation districts and private nonprofit organizations would be eligible to apply for these grants and would be required to provide some matching funds.”

 

A YES vote approves the issuance of up to $106 million in general obligation bonds to finance the activities listed in Question 3. 

A NO vote disapproves the bond issue in its entirety.

Bonds Outstanding (Issued and Maturing through 2028)

 

 

 

Principal

Interest

Total

Highway Fund

$ 22,320,000

$ 1,405,708

$ 23,725,708

General Fund

$ 465,050,000

$ 95,662,182

$ 560,712,182

Total

$ 487,370,000

$ 97,067,890

$ 584,437,890

Unissued Bonds Authorized by Voters: $64,708,697

Unissued Bonds Authorized by the Constitution:  $101,000,000

Total Authorized but Unissued Bonds: $165,708,697

The total amount that must be paid in the present fiscal year for bonded debt already outstanding (for FY2019): $106,258,509.

If the bonds submitted here are approved by voters and issued for the full statutory period authorized, an estimate of the total interest and principal that may reasonably be expected to be paid is $255,000,000.00, representing $ 200,000,000.00 in principal and $55,000,000.00 in interest.

 2018 Maine State Ballot questions

Question 2
Do you favor a $30,000,000 bond issue to improve water quality, support the planning and construction of wastewater treatment facilities and assist homeowners whose homes are served by substandard or malfunctioning wastewater treatment systems?

Question 3
Do you favor a $106,000,000 bond issue, including $101,000,000 for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities and equipment related to ports, piers, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds, and $5,000,000 for the upgrade of municipal culverts at stream crossings?

Question 4
Do you favor a $49,000,000 bond issue to be matched by at least $49,000,000 in private and public funds to modernize and improve the facilities and infrastructure of Maine's public universities in order to expand workforce development capacity and to attract and retain students to strengthen Maine's economy and future workforce?

Question 5
Do you favor a $15,000,000 bond issue to improve educational programs by upgrading facilities at all 7 of Maine's community colleges in order to provide Maine people with access to high-skill, low-cost technical and career education?