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Voters approve Issue No. 1

Andy Ouriel • May 7, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Issue No. 1 easily cruised to victory.

Most Ohioans participating in the primary election supported the statewide issue, according to unofficial results.

The publicly funded infrastructure initiative, already in place with voters securing its presence for another 10 years, reserves a chunk of money from the state’s budget for water, sewer, bridge, road and other related projects.

All 88 counties in Ohio — including Erie, Huron, Ottawa and Sandusky counties — will benefit from the program. It’s not known what projects stand to receive money from these funds.

Despite some uncertainty, some are pleased knowing there’s money in the state’s budget to fix infrastructure.

“This is an effective way of returning some working capital back to local communities,” Ottawa County engineer David Brunkhorst said. “We appreciate the fact that dollars are flowing back to local communities and being used for capital improvements in communities”

Area governments can receive a portion of this money either through a grant or a no-interest loan. Before doling out money, state officials determine which projects merit money the most.

One indirect bonus for the issue’s approval: creating an estimated 35,000 construction and related jobs during the next decade.

Had a majority of voters rejected the issue, the money would’ve funneled back into the state’s budget and spent most likely on some other purpose. Infrastructure deficiencies — roads littered with potholes, bridges set to crumble and sewers not capable of handling waste, for instance — would have been further neglected.

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