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Privatizing the Ohio Turnpike: Learn from Indiana

Matt Lundy says selling the Ohio Turnpike could be a bad move.

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 district57@ohr.state.oh.us or 614-644-5076.

I look forward to serving you.  

Robert M September 23, 2011 at 07:11 PM
Keep up the good work Mr. Lundy! People of Ohio are counting on you to stop the madness from the governors office.
Kathleen O'Brien Wilhelm September 24, 2011 at 12:45 PM
Ohio does not need to be in the lawn mowing, turnpike collecting, street repair business--sell the turnpike! Ohio does not need to pay benefits, paychecks for those government employees working on the turnpike. Government--city and schools--need to outsource. Government should not be suffocating taxpayers with more taxes. The more privatization the better taxpayers can have MORE MONEY in their paychecks and keep their earnings.
Nicole Davis September 25, 2011 at 06:43 AM
Yes Kathleen because we all know that privatization is the answer to everything. Corporations will give the people doing the street repairs MORE money than they are making currently, and that money will not go into the CEO's pocket. Right? No? Aren't people complaining about all of the outsourcing that has already happened in this state, and you are advocating even MORE outsourcing? Wow. I'm baffled!
Harry H. September 25, 2011 at 11:08 AM
There is obviously money in it or a private company would not want to buy it. At home when we are having financial trouble we tighten the belt not sell off our only assets and income sources. Duh Governor Kasich! Keep America owned by America. Privatization is not the answer.
Victor Mooney April 13, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Obviously, a private company would not have to deal with the rediculous pensions and benefits of state Workers---and would not be required to pay the inflated salaries to their labor force, and therefore could afford to pay a larger lease[my recommendation], payment---helping the State`s Budget woes. I assure you, the management would not be paid the type of salaries , now being paid the Turnpike commisioner and his cronies.--Take the time to think---thank you for your kind attention!

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