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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cincinnati City Council Streetcar Motion: Requires 'Complete' Financing Plan In Hand By May 1

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- If streetcars return to Cincinnati, a plan for paying the estimated $100 million cost must be submitted May 1 under a motion (click on the above to enlarge) scheduled for action this week at City Hall. Council members John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls also want legally enforceable financial guarantees from private and public partners of any street car lines. And they don't want the fares undercutting those of Metro buses:

"We further move that prior to initiating construction in Phase 1, the following will be in place.

"1. Signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with all public and private institutional and corporate partners for Phase 1 will be in place prior to construction [[of] this phase beginning. The MOU's will specify benchmarks, financial commitments, timing and other activities to assist the project in Phase 1. MOUs committing to participate in Phase 2 also will be in place. The MOUs will specify that any enhancements required by any partner that are beyond the basic system in either Phase 1 or 2 will be paid for by the requesting partner."

Also, more about the funding, and protecting the city, in case the streetcars aren't able to pay their way:

"1. Present to council for approval a minimum of two contingency financing plans for the capital and operations and maintenance of Phase 2 in the event federal funds are not secured for the project prior to initiating any construction. The funding plan cannot primarily rely on the City's Capital Budget to fill the gap.

"2. Prepare a sustainable Operations and Maintenance financing plan for Phase 1 that does not primarily rely on the City's capital budget and does not rely at all on the city's Operating Budgets."

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