If we don't take care of our infrastructure, the cost of repair can become astronomical. Bond issues are an excellent way to fund infrastructure updating and repair. A perfect example of where a bond issue makes sense is for trucking weigh stations. Weigh stations provide a safe facility away from the highway that allows enforcement officers to check for proper permitting and allowable weight, and to perform safety inspections when needed. These new facilities will meet the state's needs for the next 50 years and create efficiencies for the trucking industry and enforcement officers. Most importantly, implementation of this plan will have no impact on the state's budget. No part of the general revenue will be used to pay off these bonds.
Why? When I worked at the Corporation Commission, we went to the Legislature to make sure state statutes mandate that $500,000 per month from the Petroleum Storage Tank Indemnity Fund go to help fund this project. Replacing weigh stations one at a time as funds allow will take more than a decade and result in increased costs and decreased services. Members of this Legislature didn't cause this problem, but it's their responsibility to see that the problem is fixed. I urge the Legislature to pass a bond issue to build new, modern weigh stations, thereby protecting our roads and bridges.
Brooks Mitchell, Oklahoma City
Mitchell is a former Corporation Commission administrator who ran for a commission seat last year.