AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine National Guard urges voters to approve a 14-million dollar spending package on the November ballot.Question one would provide $14-million for the Maine National Guard. $11-million of the bond would go to repairing and maintaining already existing buildings. That money will allow for things like upgrading heating systems, installing fire alarms and sprinklers and repairing cracked and leaky cement.

Major Michael Steinbuchel with the Maine National Guard said, "Unfortunately, as you know, when things fall into this level of disrepair the problem gets progressively worse faster. That's the situation that we find ourselves in today. This 14-million dollar bond would help repair and fix these facilities to bring them up to current code."

The funding to fix these repairs does fall under the state's responsibility.

An issue the Bangor Daily News highlighted in a recent editorial urging a no vote on Question 1.

The BDN stated, "We don't doubt the need, and the Guard should have well-maintained buildings, but these projects usually - and should - fall within the scope of capital budgets, not bond proposals."

Steinbuchel said, "Clearly there is an obligation from the legislature to fund the National Guard and unfortunately it hasn't been done in 30 to 40 years so what makes us think it's going to be done. This bond is an opportunity to right a wrong and for us to make this right and bring these facilities to where they need to be."

Much of the Maine National Guard's infrastructure was built up in the 1950's.

The remaining $3-million in the bond would go toward purchasing 6,000 acres of land to turn into training grounds. Currently the troops must travel to Vermont or Massachusetts for certain training exercises.

Read or Share this story: