Mahoning commissioners oppose bill to privatize Ohio Turnpike
YOUNGSTOWN — Mahoning County commissioners have adopted a resolution opposing Senate Bill 224, which would allow the state to privatize the Ohio Turnpike.
Commissioner Anthony T. Traficanti said during today’s meeting that the bill, sponsored by former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin and endorsed by Gov. John Kasich, would do little to ease the state’s projected $4 billion budget shortfall.
“Taking Ohio’s largest asset and using it for short-term financial gain is not the answer to balancing the state budget,” Traficanti said.
Selling or leasing the 241-mile turnpike to a private entity likely would
remove cost-control measures as well as a ceiling capping toll increases. In addition, the commissioner said, it would provide no guarantees that the road, built in the 1950s, would continue to be well maintained.
Such a plan also would likely put many trucking companies statewide out of business while greatly increasing traffic on secondary roads, he predicted. It also would negatively affect interstate commerce, Traficanti continued.
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