Prepared by the Office of the Attorney General
This Act would authorize the State to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $47,800,000, to be administered by the Department of Transportation for the activities described below.
Highways: Proceeds of the sale of bonds in the amount of $24,800,000 would be used for reconstruction and paving of state highways.
Railroads: The state would use $7,000,000 of the bond proceeds towards the purchase and preservation of approximately 240 miles of railroad track in Aroostook County currently owned by the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway. The railway would be operated by a rail operator selected by the state through a competitive process, in consultation with shippers and other stakeholders of the track.
Bond proceeds in the amount of $5,000,000 would be used to purchase a portion of rail line and to make improvements related to improving freight rail service and preparing for passenger rail service to Lewiston and Auburn. Another $4,000,000 would be used to repair and improve portions of the Mountain Division Railroad that is already owned by the state and is located between Windham and Fryeburg.
In addition to the funds authorized by this bond issue, $4,000,000 of the previous bond issue allocated for railroad purposes and approved by the voters in November 2009 would be specifically allocated to the purchase and preservation of railroad tracks in Aroostook and Penobscot counties.
Marine facilities: The remaining $7,000,000 in bond proceeds would be used for marine-related improvements, including specifically: $6,500,000 to construct a deep water pier at the Ocean Gateway facility in Portland to accommodate large vessels such as cruise ships; and $500,000 for the Small Harbor Improvement Program, administered by the Department of Transportation, to provide matching grants to coastal communities for improvements to municipally owned marine facilities such as boat ramps, piers and wharfs.
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. If approved, the bond authorization would take effect 30 days after the Governor's proclamation of the vote.
Prepared by the Office of the Treasurer
Total estimated life time cost is $59,630,500 representing $47,800,000 in principal and $11,830,500 in interest (assuming interest at 4.5% over 10 years).
Fiscal Impact Statement
Prepared by the Office of Fiscal and Program Review
This bond issue has no significant fiscal impact other than the debt service costs identified above.
"Do you favor a $47,800,000 bond issue to create jobs in Maine through improvements to highways, railroads and marine facilities, including port and harbor structures, and specifying the allocation of $4,000,000 of the transportation bond approved by voters in November 2009 to be used for capital rail purposes?"
A "YES" vote favors authorizing the $47,800,000 bond issue to finance the above activities.
A "NO" vote opposes the bond issue in its entirety.