With all the hoopla over the race for the White House, you probably didn't know there is a ballot question to consider next month.
Pennsylvania voters on Nov. 4 will be asked to approve this question: Should the state borrow $400 million to pay for water and sewer improvements?
The bond referendum, approved by the state legislature in July, will authorize grants and low-interest loans to municipalities to repair sewer and water systems, develop pollution controls and address storm water runoff. Many communities are grappling with aging drinking water systems and sewage treatment facilities - a total $20 billion maintenance backlog, according to industry figures.
Gov. Rendell, industry and environmental groups are urging voters to support the measure, saying it is necessary for improve the environment, maintain public health and create jobs. Some fiscal conservatives are questioning the wisdom of going deeper into debt during an economic downturn, but bottom line, they say, is that communities need the upgrades.
Here is the question in its entirety:
Do you favor the incurring of indebtedness by the Commonwealth of $400,000,000 for grants and loans to municipalities AND PUBLIC UTILITIES for the cost of all labor, materials, necessary operational machinery and equipment, lands, property, rights and easements, plans and specifications, surveys, estimates of costs and revenues, prefeasibility studies, engineering and legal services and all other expenses necessary or incident to the acquisition, construction, improvement, expansion, extension, repair or rehabilitation of all or part of drinking water system, STORM WATER, NONPOINT SOURCE PROJECTS, NUTRIENT CREDITS and wastewater treatment system projects?
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