Despite Cincinnati's streetcar project needing more than $17 million to be completed, work will continue this week. The city says a Duke Energy underground electric contractor should start work on WalnutMore >>
Despite Cincinnati's streetcar project needing more than $17 million to be completed, work will continue this week.
Two Hamilton County Commissioners are requesting that OKI direct funding pledged towards the Cincinnati Streetcar Project elsewhere. OKI, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, previouslyMore >>
Two Hamilton County Commissioners are requesting that OKI direct funding pledged towards the Cincinnati Streetcar Project elsewhere.More >>
As Cincinnati's administration works to find $17.5 million to plug the streetcar project's budget gap, FOX19 has confirmed one potential funding source to save the project is off the table. Currently,More >>
As Cincinnati's administration works to find $17.5 million dollars to plug the streetcar project's budget gap, FOX19 has confirmed one potential funding source to save the project is off the table.More >>
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
Prep work for the $133 million streetcar project is moving forward, even
though $17.4 million is still needed. That deficit could be closed soon,
pending a vote from council to move some money around.
But, as some city council members
say the project should move forward, others are calling for the project to
"Continuing to move forward
with this project is a very, very bad idea," said council member Chris
"I'm a strong supporter of
the streetcar project. I always have been, and I still think it's one of
the very best investments our city can make," said council member Laure
Those are the two sides of the
streetcar argument. With a $17.4 million deficit for the project, the
argument could be settled soon.
"The city manager has
already identified several sources that he's going to take a little bit here, a
little bit there from our capital funds to come up with the $17 million that we
need," added Quinlivan.
Here's a breakdown of those
funding sources we previously reported from a memo sent by the city manager in
million from funds connected to projects around the Cincinnati Horseshoe
million from money originally set aside for the Music Hall project, which
won't be needed until 2016.
from money already budgeted for traffic signal replacement and
Cincinnati Water Works, which would help pay for water main work
associated with the streetcar project.
$4.6 million from issuing General Capital debt, which would reduce money
available to pay for economic development and housing projects
by 3% over the next 20 years.
Smitherman says the
city needs to stop putting money in a project that keeps increasing in cost.
"During two cycles of an
election, this administration said that the streetcar would cost $110 million
dollars. That was a hard number. We're now at $133 million, and I
just know that we are going to around $150 to $180 million," added Smitherman.
A political science professor at
Xavier University says, politically speaking, moving forward is the
incentive. But, financially could be a different story. He adds
these are the types of situations cities sometimes find themselves in, and the
financial uncertainty only makes it harder.
"Does it make fiscal
sense? Can we afford it? Can we pay for it? How much will it
cost? A lot of these things we don't really know, and even this far into
it, we still don't know. Those kind of uncertainties, I think, make it
very difficult," said Mack Mariani, a professor at Xavier.
Quinlivan told FOX19 when the
project is all said and done, a 3-to-1 return on the investment is
Smitherman said by breaking
ground on the first leg of the project, $200 million more is committed to a
second leg to keep the project sustainable. He says he has no idea where
that money will come from.
Smitherman says if the $17.4 million isn't advanced, the project
He and Quinlivan expect a vote on the money before they head to
summer break at the end of the month.