GALLIPOLIS — On Tuesday, voters in Ohio will be deciding upon a proposed state constitutional amendment that will renew a source of funding for local governments.
Gallia County Engineer Brett Boothe encourages voters in Gallia County to vote “yes” on Issue 1.
“Issue 1 provides funds to local governments to improve local roads, bridges, water supplies and storm and sanitary sewers, reducing the amount of local funding needed for these projects,” Boothe said in a statement. “Issue 1 will fund the renewal and expansion of Ohio’s critical local government road, bridge and infrastructure building program, which Ohio voters first approved nearly 30 years ago and again in 1995 and 2005. Issue 1 will extend this critical, proven program for 10 more years.”
The ballot language states that the proposed constitutional amendment will “fund public infrastructure capital improvements by permitting the issuance of general obligation bonds.” In other words, it will allow the state to borrow, over the next decade, no more than $1.875 billion through the issuance of bonds — loans that must be paid back within the next 30 years.
First authorized in 1987, the program has provided millions of dollars in funding to Gallia County through the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement Program and the Local Transportation Improvement Program.
“Local governments in Gallia County have received funds for new construction and replacing deficient water, sewer, roads and bridge projects,” Boothe said. “Since voters first approved Issue 1, Gallia County local governments have been awarded more than $19.5 million in funds on more than $50 million in projects.”
According to information provided on the Ohio Public Works Commission website, local governments in Gallia County have received nearly $16 million in funding through the SCIP for various projects, including the more recent Spruce Street Water Line and Sewer Improvements and First Avenue sinkhole repair in the City of Gallipolis, as well as the Kanauga/Addison Sewer Project through Gallia County.
Through the Local Transportation Program, Gallia County has received approximately $3.5 million for various reconstruction and road resurfacing projects through the county and City of Gallipolis since 1990.
Boothe also said Issue 1 will not raise taxes and, according to information provided on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, the bipartisan-supported amendment will not increase taxes as “funds to repay project bonds are already built into the state budget planning.”
During the vote within the State Senate to put Issue 1 on this year’s primary ballot, the vote was 31-0 in favor of placing the amendment on the ballot, while the House voted 90-2.
For more information on projects funded by Issue 1, visit www.pwc.state.oh.us/AssistanceHistory.html. For more information on this year’s primary election, visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.state.oh.us.
The polls will be open from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Tuesday. For more information on polling locations or the primary election locally, call the Gallia County Board of Elections at (740) 446-1600.