Ballot Measures

Environmental Management Bonds $20,000,000

Description:

Approval of this question will allow the State of Rhode Island to issue general obligation bonds, refunding bonds, and temporary notes for environmental and recreational purposes to be allotted as follows:

(a) Narragansett Bay and Watershed Restoration ……………….............................$4,000,000

Provides funds for activities to restore and protect the water quality and enhance the economic viability and environmental sustainability of Narragansett Bay and the State's watersheds. Eligible activities include: nonpoint source pollution abatement, including stormwater management; nutrient loading abatement; commercial, industrial and agricultural pollution abatement; and riparian buffer and watershed ecosystem restoration.

(b) State Land Acquisition - Open Space ………………............................................$2,500,000

Provides funds for the purchase of land, development rights and conservation easements in Rhode Island. This program acquires recreational and open space lands for the State of Rhode Island in accordance with the Rhode Island Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, Land Protection Plan, and the Rhode Island Greenspace 2000 plan.

(c) Farmland Development Rights ……………………….............................………..$4,500,000

Provides funds for the purchase of agricultural development rights to active farms in Rhode Island. The State purchases the development rights to farms to eliminate the economic pressure on farmers to sell properties for residential and commercial development. The Agricultural Land Preservation Commission accepts and evaluates farmland applications for these funds.

(d) Local Land Acquisition Grants ……………………….............................……….$2,500,000

Provides funds for grants to municipalities, local land trusts and non-profit organizations to acquire fee-simple title, development rights, or conservation easements to open space in Rhode Island. The grants provide funding up to fifty percent (50%) of the purchase price for land, surveys, appraisals and title costs. The grant applications are reviewed and evaluated by the Governor's Natural Heritage Preservation Commission according to the program guidelines.

(e) Local Recreation Grants ……………………….............................………............$5,500,000

Provides grants to municipalities for acquisition, development, or rehabilitation of local recreational facilities. These grants provide funding assistance up to fifty percent (50%) of the project costs. All grant applications are evaluated and ranked by the State Recreation Resources Review Committee.

(f) Historic/Passive Parks ………………………………………….............................$1,000,000

Provides grants to municipalities for the renovation and development of historic and passive recreation areas. The grants provide funding assistance up to ninety percent (90%) of the project costs. All grant applications are evaluated and ranked by the State Recreation Resources Review Committee.

Approval and issuance of these bonds will provide funds to the Department of Environmental Management for the following environmental and recreational purposes:

(a) Narragansett Bay and Watershed Restoration - activities to restore and protect the water quality and enhance the economic viability and environmental sustainability of Narragansett Bay and the State of Rhode Island's watersheds, with eligible activities to include nonpoint source pollution abatement, including stormwater management, nutrient loading abatement, commercial, industrial and agricultural pollution abatement, and riparian buffer and watershed ecosystem restoration;

(b) State Land Acquisition - Open Space - the purchase of land, development rights and conservation easements in Rhode Island for the purpose of acquiring recreational and open space lands for the State of Rhode Island in accordance with the Rhode Island Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, Land Protection Plan, and Rhode Island Greenspace 2000 Plan;

(c) Farmland Development Rights - the purchase of agricultural development rights to active farms in Rhode Island in order to eliminate the economic pressure on farmers to sell properties for residential and commercial development;

(d) Local Land Acquisition Grants - providing grants to municipalities, local land trusts and non-profit organizations to acquire fee-simple title, development rights, or conservation easements to open space in Rhode Island with such grants funding up to 50% of the purchase price for land, surveys, appraisals and title costs;

(e) Local Recreation Grants - providing grants to municipalities for acquisition, development, or rehabilitation of local recreational facilities with such grants funding up to 50% of the project costs; and

(f) Historic/Passive Parks - providing grants to municipalities for the renovation and development of historic and passive recreation areas with such grants funding assistance up to 90% of the project costs.

HOW MUCH MONEY WILL BE BORROWED?

$20,000,000

EXPLANATION: HOW WILL THE MONEY BE SPENT?

(a) Narragansett Bay and Watershed Restorations: $4,000,000 will be used to provide funds for activities to restore and protect the water quality and enhance the economic viability and environmental sustainability of Narragansett Bay and the State of Rhode Island's watersheds. Eligible activities include: nonpoint source pollution abatement, including stormwater management; nutrient loading abatement; commercial, industrial and agricultural pollution abatement; and riparian buffer and watershed ecosystem restorations.

(b) State Land Acquisition - Open Space: $2,500,000 will be used to provide funds for the purchase of land, development rights and conservation easements in Rhode Island. The program acquires recreational and open space lands for the State of Rhode Island in accordance with the Rhode Island Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, Land Protection Plan, and Rhode Island Greenspace 2000 Plan.

(c) Farmland Development Rights: $4,500,000 will be used to provide funds for the purchase of agricultural development rights to active farms in Rhode Island in order to eliminate the economic pressure on farmers to sell properties for residential and commercial development. The Agricultural Land Preservation Commission will accept and evaluate farmland applications for these funds.

(d) Local Land Acquisition Grants: $2,500,000 will be used to provide funds for grants to municipalities, local land trusts and non-profit organizations to acquire fee-simple title, development rights, or conservation easements to open space in Rhode Island with such grants funding up to 50% of the purchase price for land, surveys, appraisals and title costs. The grant applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the Governor's Natural Heritage Preservation Commission according to the program guidelines.

18 RHODE ISLAND VOTER INFORMATION HANDBOOK 2012

(e) Local Recreation Grants: $5,500,000 will be used to provide funds for grants to municipalities for acquisition, development, or rehabilitation of local recreational facilities with such grants funding up to 50% of the project costs. All grant applications will be evaluated and ranked by the State Recreation Resources Review Committee.

(f) Historic/Passive Parks: $1,000,000 will be used to provide funds for grants to municipalities through the State Recreation Resources Review Committee for the renovation and development of historic and passive recreation areas with such grants funding up to 90% of the project costs. All grant applications will be evaluated and ranked by the State Recreation Resources Review Committee.

PROJECT TIME TABLE:

The program to provide funding assistance for: (a) activities to restore and protect the water quality and enhance the economic viability and environmental sustainability of Narragansett Bay and the State of Rhode Island's watersheds are expected to commence in 2014 and expected to be completed by 2020; (b) the purchase of land, development rights and conservation easements in Rhode Island in accordance with the Rhode Island Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, Land Protection Plan, and Rhode Island Greenspace 2000 Plan is expected to commence in 2014 and expected to be completed by 2020; (c) the purchase of agricultural development rights to active farms in Rhode Island is expected to commence in 2014 and expected to be completed by 2020; (d) grants to municipalities, local land trusts and non-profit organizations to acquire fee-simple title, development rights, or conservation easements to open space in Rhode Island are expected to commence in 2014 and expected to be completed by 2020; (e) grants to municipalities for acquisition, development, or rehabilitation of local recreational facilities are expected to commence in 2014 and expected to be completed by 2020; and (f) grants to municipalities for the renovation and development of historic and passive recreation areas are expected to commence in 2014 and expected to be completed by 2020.

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