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Streetcar Work Continues

CINCINNATI (Joe Webb) -- The day after an anti-streetcar Mayor and City Council were voted into office, they are still laying track on the controversial $133-million dollar project. 

Mayor-elect John Cranley, who won in a landside over Vice-Mayor Roxanne Qualls campaigned against the streetcar project.  Today, he was livid that the work continues.

Lets put this thing on ice. You have certain council members who want a full accounting, an audit of the costs.  Thats fine.  But lets not, lets not keep spending money when it looks like a clear majority and a clear mandate of yesterdays election was going a different direction.  I think the peoples voice should be heard, Cranley told reporters in the living room of his Mt. Lookout home. 

Cranley says the project is a waste of money but streetcar supporters say killing the project now would be an ever bigger waste of money.

Data provided today by Project Executive John Deatrick indicates the worst case scenario for taxpayers would be $29-million dollars.  Those numbers include the city paying back $45-million in federal grants and paying 100% of the $94-million already encumbered in construction contracts.

Wednesday, standing on the streetcar job site, Deatrick said there is simply no way to accurately calculate the cost.  Its never been done before.

Today, standing here today I cannot tell you how much it will cost to shut down the streetcar project.  Its embarrassing, I suppose, but its a totally unprecedented situation.  Its never happened before that I know of.

Cranley and three anti-streetcar council member-elects; David Mann, Amy Murray and Kevin Flynn; dont take office until December. 

Deatrick says he can only shut down the project when hes ordered to by the City Manager. That order did not come today.

All I can tell you is at this second the work is continuing.

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