Tuesday, August 28, 2012

City, Duke continue fued over Streetcar funding

As we have reported previously, the City has massive funding gaps in its streetcar plan, including the problems with the use of the Blue Ash Airport monies, and the refusal of Duke Energy to fund the $12 million between what the City has budgeted to pay for gas, electric and chilled water line relocation costs associated with the Cincinnati Streetcar.

[COAST heard recently, but we have yet to confirm, that the City now intends to use all $37.5 million in Blue Ash Airport sale proceeds to fund the Streetcar, instead of just the $11 million that previously had been announced.]

At the City's insistence, Duke Energy has applied for a rate increase for City residents only with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to fund those relocation costs.  COAST will soon be issuing an Action Alert asking its members to contact PUCO opposing that additional "tax" to fund Mayor Mallory's boondoggle.

Despite that action by Duke to solve the City's chronic Streetcar funding problems, WVXU reports today that the City is threatening legal action against Duke to force them to fund the relocation costs now, so they can get started on Streetcar work.

[The Streetcar project that broke ground only eight months ago is already eight months behind schedule, with the City missing benchmarks for ordering the cars, the rails and the signing the contract for rail installation.  The keystone cops of development have only just begun their incompetent administration of this project!]

Short and simple, the City just cannot afford this foolish project.  Even the Enquirer editorialized to this conclusion.  Citizens and groups across the region have counseled against this waste of money, and yet this Council and this Mayor persist.

And the voters who put them there deserve just what they are getting.

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