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Cost of Stopping Street Car Project Explained

Updated: Thursday, November 21 2013, 10:59 PM EST
CINCINNATI (Joe Webb) -- Stopping the Cincinnati streetcar project would
take a lot of time and a lot of money the project executive told City
Councils Budget and Finance Committee Thursday afternoon.

John
Deatrick said $32.8 million dollars will have been spent on the project
by the end of November.  He said cancellation and close out  costs would
tack on another $30-$48-million. 

When the loss of $45-million
in federal grant money is added on to that, the total tab for killing
the streetcar could be around $125-million. 

The total budget for building phase one of the streetcar is $147.8-million.

The
committee meeting was chaired by outgoing Vice-Mayor Roxanne Qualls. 
Qualls was soundly defeated in the Mayors race by John Cranley who
campaigned to kill the streetcar project.

Basically, in essence
what  this is saying is you could end up in a situation where you
stopped the project you would actually spend almost as much in terms of
local dollars for stopping the project as it would cost in local dollars
to construct the project.  Is that what youre saying?" Qualls asked
budget director Lea Eriksen who assisted Deatrick with the
presentation. 

Um, yes, Eriksen replied while Deatrick nodded.  

Deatrick
said stopping the project would take 6 months to a year to accomplish. 
He said it would damage the citys reputation in the development
community and eliminate the potential of more than a half-billion
dollars in increased property taxes over the next 35 years.

The
presentation fell on sympathetic ears.  Four of the streetcars
staunchest supporters sit on the committee.  But three newly-elected
council members, who ran on an anti-streetcar platform, were in the
crowd for todays meeting.

David Mann said he supports pausing the
project until more objective analysis can be done.  Council
member-elect Amy Murray told reporters she doesnt believe Deatricks
numbers and still believes the city cant afford the streetcar.

Mayor-elect John Cranley says the numbers given today are exaggerated.  He wants an outside consultant to take a closer look.

Despite the discussion, crews were ripping up pavement and laying tracks along Elm Street Thursday.



Video HERE
Cost of Stopping Street Car Project Explained


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