Common sense returns to Ohio
COAST was thrilled to see Mayor Mallory concede today that Governor Kasich is pulling state funding for the Cincinnati streetcar project.
COAST asks that its members write to Governor Kasich and thank him for this bold, fresh, common sense approach to Ohio's and Cincinnati fiscal challenges.
This decision is a major win for streetcar opponents and is a direct result of your overwhelming grassroots efforts to defeat streetcar funding. Opponents of the streetcar flooded Ohio's Department of Transportation with more than 2,000 letters and e-mails opposing state funding for this boondoggle.
Unfortunately, you would think this would be the final nail in the coffin of the ill-conceived streetcar project, but unfortunately it just is not so.
First, Mayor Mallory continues to lobby federal officials for more streetcar funds. Second, Mallory told the Enquirer today that he still intends to finish the streetcar project. Finally, perhaps as early as today, Cincinnati City Council plans to vote on accepting state and federal funding for the project (yeah, even if it is going to be yanked). If they City signs a contract with the federal government for its $25 million grant, it will require the City to operate the streetcar at a loss for 35+ years.
All of this is in spite of the fact that (i) the City does not have the capital funds to build the project, (ii) the City has no plan and no monies to fund the $10 million operating deficit, and (iii) there already have been more than $15 million in cost overruns identified, all of which must come from the City's general fund. Finally, only 28% of City residents think the streetcar project is a good idea.
Call your Council member today (352-3000) to ask them to oppose the approval of the acceptance of the state and federal grants. Cecil Thomas (352-3499) seems to be the most on the fence.
Thank you Governor Kasich for saving us from these politicians bent on bankrupting the City.