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Democratic Lawmaker Voices Criticism Of Turnpike Announcement

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 8:48 AM

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The news that at least half the revenue from selling off or leasing the Ohio Turnpike will go to northern Ohio isn’t going over well with those who oppose a privatization or leasing deal.

The news that at least half the revenue from selling off or leasing the Ohio Turnpike will go to northern Ohio isn’t going over well with those who oppose a privatization or leasing deal. Representative Matt Lundy is a Democrat from Elyria, and he says he’s not impressed with Governor John Kasich’s announcement that at least half the Turnpike revenues would go to communities and projects north of Route 30.

Lundy says, “He acts as though he owns the turnpike. He doesn’t own the turnpike. It belongs to the taxpayers of Ohio, and they are clearly saying, over and over again, that they don’t like the idea of leasing or selling the turnpike, and if he would listen for a minute I think he would realize this is something Ohioans simply do not want.”

He also says he’s concerned that the Turnpike could come under the control of foreign interests and speculators if it’s privatized or leased, and he fear tolls would rise and maintenance would fall off. And Lundy says he thinks the best Ohio would get out of the deal would be an infusion of one-time money. Kasich has said his administration is still trying to determine the best plan for the Turnpike, which he calls an “underutilized asset”.

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