Local News

 

Can Streetcar Work Be Stopped?

Can Streetcar Work Be Stopped?

(Cincinnati) -- As of December First, there will be a new Mayor in Cincinnati, one who says he's opposed to the streetcar. 

But, after he's sworn in, John Cranley can't simply order work to stop.  Not according to the City Solicitor.  The Council would have to pass an ordinance.

But on December First, there will also be a new Council, three members of which are also opposed.  There are three in favor, and three who could be on the fence.  So, as of now, it's not clear if there's enough votes to pass an ordinance to kill the project.  And it's also not clear if there are enough votes to keep it going.

The current City Manager, Milton Dohoney, resigns on December First, and Mayor-Elect Cranley is expected to name someone to the position, at least in an interim capacity.  Council member Chris Seelbach says according to the City Solicitor, the City Manager can order work to be halted.  Council could then pass something ordering work to resume, but that order would likely face a veto from the Mayor.

Seelbach says it's confusing, and nothing will be known for sure until after the new Mayor and new Councilmembers are sworn in.  He says he'd rather see an up-or-down vote on continuing the project, than a delay, because he says a delay will only add to the cost.  He says he's been trying to get answers for incoming Councilmembers to help them decide.

PG Sittenfeld said he planned to meet with Project Manager John Deatrick, late Monday afternoon, to get information, for his decision process.  On Twitter, he offered nine questions he wanted answers for, including:

"What would be the concrete steps - legal, logistical, legislative, etc - for scrapping the project?  And what are the most up-to-date projections for close-out costs if the project were canceled?"   

"What's the best guess of what law suits would ensue if the project were scrapped, and how they would play out over what time line?"

"What is the most up-to-date projection for annual operating expenses (based on what assumption of ridership, ticket prices, etc.)"

"Are there any numbers for how much money a Special Improvement District (self-taxing zone around streetcar) could raise for the project?"

"What are the costs per month to delay the project, and please break down exactly how/where that number comes from."

 

More Articles