Recently I wrote about how Lake Erie is one of our greatest resources in Ohio. Other states would love to have a fresh water supply like Lake Erie. I also believe that another one of our great resources is The Ohio Turnpike.
Many of us have utilized and have invested in the turnpike over the years. I often travel the road over to I-71 for my weekly trips to and from Columbus. The toll road is kept in good shape and plowed very well in the winter making it a safe driving experience.
I hate to report that Governor Kasich is still moving forward with plans to sell or lease the turnpike. I strongly oppose this plan and offered several amendments to the budget bill to stop any such action from taking place. Unfortunately, my amendments to stop the sale or lease were voted down in committee and on the floor of the legislature along party lines. The governor is moving forward by hiring a consultant to determine a price for the state to seek in the deal.
Indiana, where the state privatized its turnpike, has seen tolls double. Also, the foreign company that paid more than $3 billion for the 157-mile toll road is now struggling to pay its loans. We can learn a lot from Indiana. I am also very concerned that as tolls increase, heavy trucks will use I-90 and surrounding roads causing more problems and repairs paid for by you and other taxpayers.
Finally, any money made by Ohio on the deal is one-time money and a shortsighted move without any regard for our economic future. This is an uphill fight to stop, but I will continue to do all that I can to keep and protect our Ohio Turnpike.
I want to thank the many residents who attended our last “Lundy Listens” town hall in North Ridgeville. I hope you will make plans to join me for my next town hall on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Sheffield Village Municipal Complex. I work for you and want to hear your concerns on state issues. You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-644-5076.
I look forward to serving you.