On Tuesday’s ballot, Philadelphians were asked an important question regarding the city’s infrastructure. The ballot asked voters to say “yes” or “no” to allowing the city to borrow $134 million for capital improvements and a major investment in infrastructure projects. The question read:
Should the City of Philadelphia borrow $184,303,000.00 to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?
With 66.65% of the vote, Philadelphians voted in favor of the plan for capital improvements borrowing, while 33.35% voted against the bond question. As part of the bond, the infrastructure improvements must provide value to the city for at least five years.
The question determined whether Philadelphia would increase its debt by $184,303,000 in order to fund municipal initiatives. The Committee of Seventy, a non-partisan government regulating group that works to achieve clean and effective government, explained in a statement that, “Capital purposes means, generally, to make expenditures that will result in something of value with a useful life to the City of more than five years, for example, acquisitions of real estate, or construction of or improvements to buildings, property or streets.”
Money borrowed through the bond issue will be spent by the city for five purposes identified in a City Council bill that passed in September:
- Transit: $4,683,131
- Streets and Sanitation: $33,436,080
- Municipal Buildings: $100,943,681
- Parks, Recreation and Museums: $25,740,061
- Economic and Community Development: $19,500,047
By ordinance, Philadelphia City Council retains the authority to change the intended allocation of these proceeds.