Cincinnati Council has officially voted to temporarily suspend the city's streetcar project.
Five members voted in favor of the pause, and four were opposed.
During the pause, the city will hire an accounting firm to audit the costs of stopping the project entirely. That review is expected to take about two weeks. After that Council will decide whether to continue with the streetcar project or cancel it completely.
Council rejected an offer of private funding to continue some limited streetcar construction during the financial review.
Despite owing nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in unpaid state and federal taxes, State Sen. Eric Kearney made it clear Wednesday morning that he has no intention of stepping down as the Democratic candidate for Ohio lieutenant governor.
“I’m in it to stay,’’ the North Avondale Democrat said in a teleconference with Ohio reporters that lasted well over an hour Wednesday. “My wife and I made the decision that we’re going to do this and we’re going to do it; and we’re here to follow it through.”
Five of the nine Cincinnati City Council members are expected to vote Wednesday to temporarily suspend work and spending on the streetcar project. That majority says the pause will allow leaders to figure out the true costs of cancelling the program compared to how much it would cost to complete the first phase of the project.
Council will vote on 11 streetcar related ordinances. They all contain monetary appropriations, which likely mean streetcar supporters cannot seek a referendum to overturn them.