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More Streetcar Rails Delivered, Cranley: "Total disregard for the taxpayer!"

CINCINNATI (Joe Webb) -- Work on the Cincinnati Streetcar continues despite Mayor-elect John Cranleys promise to kill the $133 million project.

It shows total disregard for the taxpayer, Cranley told Local 12 Monday morning.  It is a childish, immature spending of other peoples money.

Cranley campaigned for Mayor on an anti-streetcar platform.  He handily beat former Mayor and current Vice-Mayor Roxanne Qualls, a streetcar supporter.

The city has spent about $25-million on the project and is showing no signs of slowing down.  A truckload of steel rails was delivered to workers laying track on Elm Street Monday morning.  North of Liberty on Elm, crews were digging up the street and cutting out the old rails from the previous streetcar system.  At Race and Henry workers were doing sewer work to make way for streetcar tracks.

Cranley takes office December 1st and is joined at City Hall by three new council members who also oppose the streetcar project.

Streetcar supporters will layout their plans to keep the project alive during a news conference Tuesday morning at 15th and Race.  A coalition of supporters has launched a crowd-funding site, organized an online
petition drive and is consulting with attorneys on legal options.

We believe that if youre elected by 1 in 6 Cincinnatians and 70% of the voters didnt vote, you need to have a conversation. Not just with those who oppose the streetcar, but the rest of us, supporter Ryan Messer told Local 12.  Lets have the conversation with the data and make a fiscally responsible decision that might turn out to be that we go forward with the streetcar.

Messer, who owns property near the streetcar route, says the groups message is simple: the streetcar will build the urban core and a strong urban core is good for the entire city and the region.

Its not what our opponents are trying to drive that were a bunch of kids who want a new toy.  Were a diverse set of Cincinnatians, stakeholders who see a brighter future for Cincinnati than maybe some
people think is possible.

Streetcar project executive John Deatrick says stopping the project now could cost the city up to $29-million.

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