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Voters pass local amendment

Voters overwhelmingly gave the Escambia County Commission the OK Monday to allow trustees of the county’s oil and gas severance trust to loan funds to the county.

The amendment, which was the only local one on the ballot, saw a nearly 79 percent approval rating with 5,466 ballots cast in support.

Previously, county commissioners explained the amendment would allow for the funds to be specifically used for economic development, roads and bridges and other capital improvement projects. The amendment also authorizes other investments as otherwise provided for by local law.

If borrowed, the money must be repaid, Chairman David Stokes said.

Created by legislation in 1984, the law states the county has access to 80 percent of the interest generated and 20 percent must be reinvested in the trust. To ensure fund safety, monies must be invested in either U.S. Treasury notes or certificates of deposit that are secured to protect the principal.

Locally voters gave their support to all five statewide amendments.