|Duke Energy 'Supports' Cincinnati Streetcars|
Here's the COAST website, and here's the complete text of the letter from Duke Energy released by the anti-tax group:
Since 2010, company representatives have worked with city officials to review the proposed streetcar project and determine how much infrastructure beneath and above the city streets would need to be relocated to accommodate this new utility. Although these conversations have been cooperative and aimed at arriving at a mutually agreeable solution, it seems we have reached an impasse.
Earlier today, we asked the mayor for the city's commitment on two very important and unresolved issues related to the streetcar project: safety concerns around the project plan and who should pay for the relocation of the company's pipes and wires below the city streets.
When Duke Energy Ohio initiates changes such as moving gas, chilled water, fiber and electric infrastructure, the changes are generally intended to improve service, and so the costs associated with such work are shared by all customers. Duke Energy Ohio has an obligation to keep those costs as low as possible. In this case, the costs are only to accommodate the streetcar. That's why we hope everyone can agree that the costs should be funded through the city.
Additionally, the current design for the streetcar simply doesn't create an adequate corridor around the company's underground utilities for access during routine maintenance or emergency repairs. A minimum clearance of eight feet from the edge of the streetcar is needed to ensure the safety of our employees, city residents and the streetcar riders.
The company continues to support the streetcar project and we look forward to working with the city on these issues, and seeing the city break ground on this project.
As for COAST, this is how it is spinning this latest development:
COAST and the Cincinnati Business Courier have methodically uncovered significant flaws in Mayor Mallory's Streetcar plan, including their attempt to shift the cost of utility relocation to ratepayers, and the foolish plan to build streetcar improvements on top of utility lines. The City has been claiming to media and the public that these are all small, insignificant issues that will be addressed through negotiations. However, today, COAST received this release from Duke Energy declaring an impasse with the City on cost and safety issues: