BUCKHANNON – Twenty-two infrastructure improvement projects and 206 jobs are at stake in Upshur County alone in the Oct. 7 road bond special election, a governor’s office spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Stephanie Robinson, public information officer for Gov. Jim Justice’s communications office, said Tuesday that misinformation regarding the Saturday, Oct. 7 special election has been circulating – most of which has indicated that the road bond, if passed, will only fund infrastructure projects in some – but not all – counties in the Mountain State.
That’s simply inaccurate, Robinson said Tuesday in a telephone interview with The Record Delta.
“There’s been some misinformation out there saying that there are not projects in all 55 counties, but that’s not true,” Robinson said. “There are projects in all 55 counties, and we wanted to make sure that people saw what specific projects were listed in each county, how many projects there were and how many jobs were involved.”
Now, West Virginia residents can find that information by visiting Gov. Jim Justice’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WVGovernor, clicking on the “Photos” link and then selecting a picture of their respective county.
A few of the 22 projects in Upshur County involve improving various aspects of the Hall Road, Cutright Run Road, Alton Road, Little Sand Run Road, Route 33 and Route 20. To find a complete list of Upshur County projects (and statewide projects) that will be financed by the bond, if passed, visit roadstoprosperity.wv.gov and click on the “Road Project List” orange sign icon.
“Because of the misinformation that was out there, I think a lot of people failed to realize how many projects were actually involved,” Robinson added.
She’s also unsure whether residents understand that a vote for the passage of the road bond doesn’t mean a vote for any new taxes. What the passage of the amendment will do is authorize the state to sell bonds, which will fund the improvement and new construction of state roads and bridges.
“There’s no new taxes,” Robinson emphasized. “What this does is it borrows money to cover the projects until the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) fees trickle in over the next few years. [These improvements] are going to be paid for by the DMV fees that are already in place and have been in place for a few weeks now.”
W.Va. Senate Bill 1006, which went into effect July 1, implemented a handful of changes to fees for vehicle and driver services, including registrations and driver’s licenses, Robinson said.
Robinson urged people to vote in favor of the road bond, saying passage could be key to turning around West Virginia’s slumping economy.
“I think this is important for the infrastructure of the state,” she said. “We’ll be able to have jobs and bring businesses to the state if we have better roadways to transport people and goods.”
Upshur County Commission President Terry Cutright is inviting members of the public who want to learn more about the road bond election to come out to a special question-and-answer session scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 in commission chambers (third floor of the Upshur County Courthouse). Governor’s office representatives will be on hand to field questions from constituents during the session, which will be moved to the Upshur County Circuit Courtroom if there isn’t enough room in commission chambers.
The last day to register to vote in the special road bond election is Monday, Sept. 18. Early voting will take place from Sept. 22 through Oct. 4 in each county courthouse or annex. On Oct. 7, polls will be open in regular precincts from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., according to the governor’s office website. At stake are the completion of 600 new projects, hundreds of improvements to existing roads and bridges and “tens of thousands of jobs” for West Virginians, the governor’s website says.
In addition to the 22 projects in Upshur County, the road bond’s passage or failure will affect 24 projects in Randolph County, 16 projects in Lewis County, 14 projects in Barbour County and 10 in Webster County.
To register to vote in the special election, visit ovr.sos.wv.gov/Register.