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At the November 3, 2020 Election, Biddeford voters were asked to support two General Obligation Bonds totaling $17.5 million. The projects included in the Bond Referendum were selected to address longstanding maintenance needs for City facilities and streets throughout the community. Taking advantage of today's historically low interest rates will help save Biddeford taxpayers money on this necessary work. This method of financing also ensures that those benefiting from the projects today as well as those benefiting in the future help pay for them.
This question asked voters to approve a $10 million General Obligation Bond to complete mandatory separation of the City's storm and sanitary sewer systems.
Biddeford’s original sewer system was a one-pipe system, meaning that the same pipe carries storm water and household wastewater from toilets, tubs and sinks. During heavy rains, the single pipe cannot handle the high volume of water and as a result untreated wastewater overflows into water bodies such as the Saco River. The City's Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) program creates a two pipe system: one pipe that carries the household wasterwater to the treatment plant and a separate pipe for carrying stormwater.
The City's ongoing CSO work is important to reduce the level and frequency of pollutant discharges into our rivers and streams, reduce basement and yard flooding, and create a safer and cleaner environment. In fact, it is so important that it is required by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The projects that will be funded by this bond are outlined in the City's work agreement with the Maine DEP. This bond will ensure that the City can continue meeting the mandated compliance schedule (avoiding fines and penalties).
This question asked voters to approve a $7.5 million General Obligation Bond. Of the total amount of borrowing, $3.75 million will be used for improvements to roads, sidewalks and drainage systems, and $3.75 million will be used for repairs and improvements to City Hall and other City buildings. The City Council will make the final determination on which projects will be funded within the authorized amounts.
To learn more, visit www.biddefordmaine.org/2020bonds or watch the video below.