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  • Wed October 24 2012
  • Posted Oct 24, 2012

When Iowans go to the polls Nov. 6, they will see many names on the ballot. Candidates seeking everything from the presidency to a seat in the Iowa Legislature or a seat on your county’s board of supervisors want your vote.

Who should receive support from people in Polk County? Mother Nature.

She hasn’t been out campaigning, but she needs your support. Polk County residents should do right by her — and their families and their communities — by marking “yes” for the Polk County Water and Land Legacy Bond.

If approved by 60 percent of voters, the county will be able to bond for up to $50 million over 20 years to pay for conservation and recreation projects in the state’s most populated county.

There never is a good time to ask voters to pay more in taxes. But Polk County’s bond proposal would cost the average homeowner about 85 cents per month.

The Polk County Conservation Board will evaluate and select projects. Those proposed and completed will be posted online, at public meetings and be included in its annual report. All expenditures will be subject to public review. The money cannot be diverted to fund other government needs.

If approved by voters, money will finally be available to connect trails, repair park shelters, construct rental cabins in county parks and buy land to protect wildlife habitat. Money can be used to improve water quality and help protect communities from costly flood damage.

The Polk County Conservation Board manages 12,000 acres of public land in 18 parks and wildlife areas. That includes places like Jester Park, Easter Lake Park and Brown’s Woods, which are used by 1.4 million people each year.

There is essentially no opposition to the bonding proposal. Everyone from hunters and golfers to cyclists and bird watchers supports making a dedicated investment in the outdoors.

Mother Nature has strong support across Iowa. In 2010, voters statewide approved a constitutional amendment to create a trust fund for natural resources. The fund has been setting empty for two years. In 2013, the Iowa Legislature should finally listen to voters and put money into the trust fund by increasing the sales tax a fraction of a penny.

Iowa’s elected officials don’t hesitate to use public money to give tax breaks to businesses, even when the economic payoffs are limited. Yet investing in the outdoors has proven economic benefits, according to numerous studies. It attracts new residents and businesses.

Recreational trails and green spaces increase property values. When people have places to fish, hunt and bike, they buy equipment, which spurs retail sales and job growth. Getting outside to exercise reduces health care costs and improves people’s productivity.

The Water and Land Legacy Bond, at a very modest cost, will provide a multitude of benefits to Polk County residents through the repair, preservation and expansion of these outdoor spaces.

We support a “yes” vote on Nov. 6 on Measure A.


BIKEIOWA NOTES

Find out more about Measure A on BIKEIOWA by clicking on the 'Measure A" tag here or below...

Not from Polk County? Educate you friends who live in Polk County... Don't you think they would want to know about this too ?? November 6th is coming fast!



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