$4 million for streetcar can't be rescinded, OKI says

Jun 5, 2013

The Ohio Kentucky Indiana (OKI) Regional Council of Governments has told the Hamilton County commissioners it is too late to take back $4 million pledged to the city of Cincinnati's streetcar project.

Two county commissioners, Republicans Greg Hartmann and Chris Monzel, had asked OKI to rescind the money because of cost overruns on the streetcar project and that the money should be used on other area infrastructure projects.

No can do, OKI director Mark Policinski told the commissioners in a June 4 letter.

"OKI has no capability at this point to affect the use of the $4 million,'' Policinski told the commissioners.

When the commissioners made the request, OKI went to lawyers at Taft, Stettinius and Hollister who advised OKI that the money was already obligated to the Federal Transit Administration.

Edward D. Diller, a lawyer at Taft, Stettinius and Hollister, wrote in his letter to Policinski that even if the $4 million grant "could somehow be rescinded, there is no assurance that those funds would be re-allocated within Hamilton County or even the OKI service area."