For the first time yesterday the Enquirer and some of the TV news media acknowledged that because the streetcar money is comprised of state and federal grants, it cannot be used to pay for police and fire, something that everyone's known the whole time but has been unacknowledged for controversy.
Then this from City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr;
I am very happy to report that today the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) unanimously recommended an award of $35 million for Phase 1 of the Cincinnati streetcar project. This award brings the total amount of funding identified for the streetcar project to approximately $150 million. This provides all total capital project costs. In addition, the TRAC also recommended an award of $1.8 million for planning and preliminary engineering for Phase 2 of the streetcar project.
Especially in light of the budget problems facing the city, I am convinced that we must use every economic development tool we can to bring residents, jobs, businesses – and tax revenue – to the city. Together, the streetcar, casino, The Banks, 21c hotel, and other investments generate bigger returns that will stabilize and grow our local economy. The streetcar alone has a $3 return for every $1 invested.
I’d like to thank ODOT Director Molitoris and the members of the TRAC for their commitment to Cincinnati’s streetcar project, in part, as a tool for economic development.
We all know that Cincinnati cannot cut its way to greatness, yes some cuts are necessary but they only get you so far and revenue must increase to keep our current level of city services.
As our good friend Casey Coston stated,
The streetcar is a proven tool for economic development. It is the means by which we grow the city, attract new residents and investment, and grow the city's tax base. Given that tax increases are the "third rail" of our current political climate, the streetcar is an empirical tool for revenue enhancement in the absence of increased taxes.