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November ballot to include state question

September 20, 2012

Oklahoma's November ballot includes a state question that, if passed, could have a dramatic impact on your business interests.

Passage of SQ 764 will authorize up to $3 billion for financing new projects to help Oklahoma maintain and enhance its drinking water and waste water infrastructure.

Providing the infrastructure for reliable drinking water and waste water needs is vital to the economic growth and development of our state. The Oklahoma Rural Water Association writes to you as a partner who understands the importance of fully developing our state's water infrastructure.

The Oklahoma Water Resource Board's recent update of the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan states that over the next 50 years the state will face $80 billion in necessary updates and expansion of drinking water and waste water infrastructure needs. Keeping up with these needs could triple the size of the typical Oklahoma family's water bill. Yet current financing authority will only fund between three and nine percent of these future water infrastructure needs.

Passing State Question 764 will help ease this burden while allowing the state to keep pace with our growing water demands.

State Question 764 is a constitutional amendment that creates the Water Infrastructure Credit Enhancement Reserve Fund, allowing the OWRB to provide financing for infrastructure projects.

SQ 764 creates a funding mechanism to leverage available funding for water resource and sewage treatment financial assistance programs for municipalities, rural water districts and other public entities in Oklahoma.

The current OWRB loan program has saved Oklahoma communities more than $900 million since its inception, and the new Reserve Fund will follow a similar model.

While we know that public water and waste water systems usually do not, or cannot, actively sponsor or endorse political candidates, State Question 764 is a constitutional amendment designed to help build Oklahoma's future. You help is sought in educating the public on the importance of State Question 764.

For more information, go to www.okruralwater.org or call 1-800-375-6792.

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