These bonds would be issued to allow the State to invest in the environment and recreation. The $35,000,000 will be allocated as outlined below to improve state parks, preserve open space, develop bikeways, clean up contaminated land, reduce stormwater pollution, support municipalities in development of recreational facilities and also to purchase open space and parklands.
Specifically, approval of this question will provide:
(a) $4,000,000 for major capital improvements to State properties, including Fort Adams State Park, Brenton Point, Colt State Park and Goddard Memorial State Park. Specific projects include major renovations to the Goddard State Park bathing pavilion, improvements to the stone barn at Colt State Park, and continued improvements to public facilities at Fort Adams State Park.
(b) $4,000,000 for the State Land Acquisition Program allowing the state to acquire fee simple interest or conservation easements to open space, farmland, watershed, and recreation lands. The State would invest these funds in the preservation of iconic, scenic and sensitive natural and recreational resources including gems such as Rocky Point in Warwick and the Blue Pond Management Area in Hopkinton to provide opportunities for Rhode Islanders and our visitors to recreate, enjoy nature, hike, fish and hunt. Funds are matched by federal, local and non-profit sources with every state dollar being matched by 3 other dollars.
(c) $10,000,000 for the State to design and construct bikeways. Projects to be funded under this program would include high priority bikeway connections such as the Blackstone Bikeway and South County Bikeway.
(d) $5,000,000 for the cleanup of former industrial or commercial sites that may be contaminated by hazardous waste or pollution. Provides up to 80 percent matching grants to public, private, and/or non-profit entities for brownfield remediation projects. Recently funded projects include South Street Landing and Paragon Mills in Providence and the Westerly Higher Education and Job Skills Center.
(e) $3,000,000 for a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program. Renews funding to an existing program that provides up to 75 percent matching grants for public, private and/or non-profit entities for projects that reduce stormwater pollution. These funds would be used to clean up our waterways and reduce stormwater pollution that contributes to beach and shellfish closures and degrades waters used for drinking water supply and recreation.
(f) $5,000,000 for up to 80 percent in matching grants to municipalities to develop public recreational facilities and up to 50 percent in matching grants to acquire recreational lands.
(g) $4,000,000 for 50 percent matching grants to municipalities, local land trusts and non-profit organizations to acquire fee-simple interest, development rights, or conservation easements on open space lands in Rhode Island. Past local open space properties preserved through this program include 175 acres of conservation land in Coventry, 40 acres of significant habitat and drinking water supply in North Smithfield, and a 90-acre open space and farmland parcel in Tiverton.
GREEN ECONOMY BONDS - $35,000,000 For environmental and recreational purposes, to be allocated as follows:
(a) Historic State Park Development Program $4,000,000
(b) State Land Acquisition Program $4,000,000
(c) State Bikeway Development Program $10,000,000
(d) Brownfield Remediation and Economic Development $5,000,000
(e) Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program $3,000,000
(f) Local Recreation Development Matching Grant Program $5,000,000
(g) Local Land Acquisition Matching Grant Program $4,000,000
Your vote to Approve means that you support the state issuing $35,000,000 in general obligation bonds to invest in the environment and recreation.
Your vote to Reject means that you are against the state issuing $35,000,000 in general obligation bonds to invest in the environment and recreation.