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Believe in Cincinnati Statement on Discussions with Rogoff
CINCINNATI (Believe in Cincinnati) -- Believe in Cincinnati is circulating petitions to put a charter amendment on the ballot, which would require the city to complete construction of the streetcar. There is more reason than ever to believe this project can, should, and will go forward.
Based on multiple conversations with FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff and others in the federal government, we are confident there is a likely path forward for the Cincinnati Streetcar.
Both Ryan Messer and Believe in Cincinnati's attorney Paul De Marco spoke at length today with Mr. Rogoff and agreed on three fundamental points:
First, proceeding with the Cincinnati streetcar project would serve the interests of the people of Cincinnati, the federal government, and everyone else involved in this project. Collection actions initiated by FTA, lawsuits initiated by contractors and others against the city, and the withdrawal of federal funds would not.
Second, finding the money to cover the streetcar's operating expenses should not be an obstacle to restarting construction. The City has plenty of time to work with the business community, philanthropic leaders, and community groups to decide on funding sources to cover the streetcar's operating costs. Dozens of other cities have done it; Cincinnati can too.
Third, if city council members want more information about the available sources of funding to cover operating expenses, the FTA has offered to provide them with that information, including the wide array of private and public funding sources used in other cities to cover streetcar operating expenses.
Believe in Cincinnati is actively pursuing the signature drive for the charter amendment. "As weve stated before, we hope that the campaign to pass the amendment will not be necessary. But we are fired up, and ready to proceed with the campaign should the city fail to move forward next week," said Messer.