Taft Proposes Conservation Bond Act for Ohio
In January, Ohio Governor Bob Taft proposed his environmental plan to improve Ohioans’ quality of life in the form of two bond funds at $200 million each. His proposal puts both bond initiatives before voters during the November 2000 election. Once passed, additional legislation will define the limits and implementation of these proposals.
Taft’s proposal would provide $200 for brownfield development and urban revitalization through cities and not-for-profit corporations. According to the Governor’s office eligible projects will include “environmental assessments of brownfield sites; site acquisition and clean up; appropriate demolition; infrastructure improvement, including technological improvements such as fiber-optics and satellite access; and local economic strategy development.”
An additional $200 million would be earmarked for environmental enhancement and preservation. Local governments and non-profit groups would receive loans and grants to enhance Ohio’s natural environment, maintain local watersheds, and preserve valuable farmland. Eligible activities will include “streambank restoration and protection projects; conservation easements in riparian corridors; wetlands preservation or restoration; river sweeps; farmland preservation; development of greenways and recreational trails and bike paths; reforestation projects; education programs aimed at reducing nonpoint source pollution; and watershed planning.”