The controversy surrounding Cincinnati's streetcar just won't go away. In fact, it has only intensified since FOX19 began asking for status updates on the project and budget. Since we requested thoseMore >
The controversy surrounding Cincinnati's streetcar just won't go away. Since FOX19 requested status updates on the project and budget, city administration has turned over documents showing just how far off-budget the project is. So, is the project even financially possible at this point?More >
Monday, April 29 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-04-30 03:20:47 GMT
It was a packed house Monday night at a public hearing designed to get some answers about the troubled downtown streetcar project. Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls called the hearing hoping to get an updateMore >
It was a packed house Monday night at a public hearing designed to get some answers about the troubled downtown streetcar project. Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls called the hearing hoping to get an update on the status on the much-delayed project.More >
Tuesday, April 23 2013 7:50 PM EDT2013-04-23 23:50:56 GMT
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) -
Cincinnati City Council met Monday to discuss funding needed to continue the streetcar.
The $133 million project is facing an estimated $17.4 million deficit.
City Manager Milton Dohoney says if the money is not approved the project would be terminated, unless the federal officials approved a scope change which he says is unlikely.
Dohoney came up with multiple funding options, which he recommended to the mayor and council in a memo dated April 30.
The options include:
$6.5 million from funds connected to projects around the Cincinnati Horseshoe Casino site.
$5.4 million from money originally set aside for the Music Hall project, which won't be needed until 2016.
$400,000 from money already budgeted for traffic signal replacement and improvements.
$500,000 from Cincinnati Water Works, which would help pay for water main work associated with the streetcar project.
Remaining $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.
The City Administration recognized it is asking for approval before knowing if Messer would honor its initial low bid.
"Our choice is ‘Do we go with where the country is going [with light rail]? Or do we try and play catch up later which will cost a lot more?" Dohoney said, addressing council Monday.
"I think I'm still weighing all the information," Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls told FOX19. "It's a major decision and whether it's a go or not go. Either way it will have serious impact."
Currently $17.4 million is the total amount in question, but it is also the added possibility of even more unknown costs down the road that had council members concerned.
"It's a very difficult position I think all of us are in," Councilman Chris Seelbach said. "We don't want this to be another example of the failure of the subway system but we also don't want to continue on a project that maybe in the end won't succeed no matter how much money we put into it."
"Is your testimony today that this number is the right number and will not move one dime?"Chris Smitherman questioned Dohoney Monday.
"I could not tell you that this project or any project would not move one dime between now and when it's actually completed," Dohoney responded.
Dohoney argues that because the utility work has been ongoing and they have already been going underground, the city has a level of certainty about what they will encounter during the project.
Currently the City Manager says eight percent of the project's budget is contingency money set aside for unforeseen costs.
"That's just always a major concern with any construction," argued council woman Yvette Simpson. "I do believe that delay often causes that so the quicker we're able to move forward with the decision the better we're going to be."
Smitherman agrees the decision should be made quickly, but for different reasons as an opponent of the project.
"Without the $17.4 million there is not a project. Why was there not a vote today?" he questioned.
"Because most of the members of council, not all but most of the members of council, still have a lot of questions and are weighing the decision," Qualls explained.
Charlie Winburn proposed going ahead and taking the vote but ultimately he did not have enough support.
Roxanne Qualls says she anticipates a vote on the matter by the end of the month. The next Budget and Finance Meeting is Scheduled for Tuesday, May 28.
Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:43:54 GMT
Pointing the finger at Republicans for Congressional inaction, President Barack Obama accused them of posturing and doing everything they can to stymie economic growth.More >
Pointing the finger at Republicans for Congressional inaction, President Barack Obama accused them of posturing and doing everything they can to stymie economic growth because they are not happy he is president. More >
Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:50 AM EDT2014-07-29 09:50:38 GMT
Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.More >
Listeria is listed on the the baby's death certificate as an immediate cause of her death. Her mother, says that while she was pregnant, she ate food that was part of a recent, nation-wide Listeria recall.More >
Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:45 AM EDT2014-07-30 11:45:17 GMT
It's not a disease and it's not contagious, but "Invisible Black Dog Syndrome" is a sad, real condition affecting local animal shelters. The term refers to the propensity of would-be-adopters walkingMore >
It's not a disease and it's not contagious, but "Invisible Black Dog Syndrome" is a sad, real condition affecting animal shelters. More >