Question 3 on the Maine ballot will ask voters if they “favor a $3,400,000 bond issue to support drinking water programs, to support the construction of wastewater treatment facilities and to leverage $17,000,000 in other funds?” Under both the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act, Congress established State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs, which are financed with federal grants. To secure those grants Maine must, annually, provide a 20 percent state match.
The SRF program is an important source of funding for the replacement and improvement of Maine’s aging water and wastewater systems. The $3.4 million, if approved, will provide the match for the 2009 program.
In these very trying economic times, the five-to-one federal to state match is a deal that Maine cannot afford to pass up. Approval of Question 3 will result in more than $20 million of system improvements, which will create jobs in Maine communities for contractors and other associated businesses.
Tough economic times or not, Maine residents expect their water to be safe to drink. They also expect wastewater to be adequately treated before it is discharged into our rivers, streams and coastal areas.
Maine Water Utilities Association