Cincinnati Council will likely vote Thursday on whether the city's controversial streetcar project will continue.
Construction has been on hold since December 4th. Now the group will decide whether to let work resume or finally pull the plug on the plan.
So far the city has spent $34 million on the streetcar project. An independent audit firm reported Wednesday it will cost anywhere from $16 to $46 million to cancel the streetcar or about $69 million to complete it.
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.