Prepared by the Office of the Attorney General
This Act would authorize the State to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $9,750,000 to raise funds to invest in: the acquisition of land and interest in land for conservation, water access, outdoor recreation, wildlife and fish habitat, farmland preservation and working waterfront preservation. 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 as follows:
* $9,750,000 would be expended under the direction and supervision of the Land for Maine's Future Board, as follows:
$6,500,000 must be spent for the acquisition of land for conservation, water access, wildlife and fish habitat, outdoor recreation, including hunting and fishing, and farmland preservation. The bond funds must be matched with at least $6,500,000 in public and private contributions, 70% of which must be in cash or other tangible assets, while the remaining 30% may be in the form of project-related in-kind contributions or services.
$1,750,000 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 as Chapter 462, Part B, Section 6 of the Public Laws of 2005. Grants for working waterfront projects would have to be matched, dollar for dollar, by the local governments or organizations receiving the grants and would 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 Land for Maine's Future Board would be required to retain a right of first refusal on any waterfront property acquisition.
$1,000,000 must be made available to preserve working farmland in accordance with Title 5, section 6207. Grants for the preservation of farmlands would be made when matching funds are available from cooperating entities.
With the exception of working waterfront projects and farmland preservation projects, hunting, fishing, trapping and public access may not be prohibited on lands acquired with these bond proceeds, unless required by applicable federal, state or local laws. In using bond proceeds to acquire land or interests in land of local or regional significance, the Land for Maine's Future Board would be required to give preference to acquisitions that achieve benefits for multiple towns and address regional conservation needs.
* $500,000 would be expended by the Department of Conservation's Bureau of Parks and Lands to preserve state parks and properties managed by the Department of Conservation.
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 the authorization of the $9,750,000 bond issue to finance all of the activities.
A "NO" vote disapproves the bond issue in its entirety.
Prepared by the Office of the Treasurer
Total estimated life time cost is $12,163,125 representing $9,750,000 in principal and $2,413,125 in interest (assuming interest at 4.50% over 10 years).
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 $9,750,000 bond issue to invest in land conservation and working waterfront preservation and to preserve state parks to be matched by $9,250,000 in federal and other funds?
No [ ]