Six Council members sent a letter to the Federal Transit Administration about the city's streetcar project. The text of the letter is below.
Meanwhile, Council is scheduled to hear public comments again on the project Wednesday afternoon starting at 1:30. The streetcar committee will hold a meeting Thursday at 9 a.m. to learn more about an audit to determine the costs of stopping the project versus continuing it. The full Council will meet Thursday at 2 p.m. to take a vote on stopping or continuing the project.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, who campaigned and won on a promise to kill the $133 million streetcar project, cracked open to the door to a deal with streetcar supporters that could allow the project to go forward.
In a city hall press conference this morning, Cranley said he would work with streetcar supporters to find institutions or foundations in the private sector to pay the approximately $80 million it would take to maintain and operate the system.
It is not something the city can do without private help, Cranley said.
Cincinnati’s new mayor and city council were sworn in Sunday, and, as expected, most of their focus this week has been on the streetcar. Just yesterday, council voted to suspend construction while an audit is done to determine the costs involved in continuing or abandoning the project. We hear arguments for stopping the project from Vice Mayor David Mann and Council Member Kevin Flynn.
Mayor Cranley on his Facebook page says, at his request, the Federal Transportation Administration has decided to hold off on canceling the streetcar project until December 19 to allow city to make a final decision.
Update 12/4/13 9:00 PM:
Construction on most parts of Cincinnati's streetcar project will be coming to a halt. But that's not to say you won't see some workers on the job in parts of Downtown or Over-the-Rhine.
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.