Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cincinnati City Council backs streetcar plan

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The Cincinnati City Council, in a 6-2 vote Wednesday, approved a $64 million bond measure to generate local funds for a $128 million streetcar project, following the recommendation made Monday by a finance committee to approve the plan.

Concerns over debt financing were allayed, to some degree, by a new arrangement to cover the debt with money from tax increment financing, proceeds from the sale of the Blue Ash airport, and use of city capital.

The streetcar route currently is planned to run from the Great American Ball Park north through the city to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, including a stop at the University of Cincinnati.

Those opposed to the project, defeated last year in a vote to reject the streetcar project, still hope to block the plan. Some speculate that former Mayor Tom Luken, an opponent, will mount a petition campaign to once again put the streetcar issue on the ballot this November.