County Engineer adds support for renewal of state Issue 1

LISBON – Columbiana County Engineer Bert Dawson wanted to add his support for renewal of state Issue 1 in Tuesday’s election.

First approved by voters in 1987 and renewed twice since, Issue 1 authorizes the state to sell bonds to fund $1.8 billion in local infrastructure projects over 10 years.

“It is my opinion that Issue 1 is, without a doubt, the best grant program ever offered by the state or federal government that is designed to help our local government repair and replace our failing infrastructure,” he said, in a news release issued Thursday.

Dawson said 169 road, bridge, water and sewer projects have been funded with Issue 1 money over the past 27 years, providing $32 million in grants and $13 million in no-interest loans for those projects.

“This program has created tens of thousands of jobs in 27 years and will provide an estimated 3,500 more construction and allied jobs over the next decade. By improving our roads, bridges, sewer and other facilities, Issue 1 improves job climate and the quality of life for all Ohioans,” he wrote.

“The Issue 1 capital improvements program is an enduring success for our state and has had strong, traditional bipartisan support … In fact, the vote to put Issue 1 on the ballot was 31-0 in the Ohio Senate and 90-2 in the Ohio House,” Dawson added.

He said renewal of Issue 1 will not raise taxes because repayment of the bonds is built into the state budget.