For now, streetcar proposal is off-line
Thursday, July 10, 2008
BY ROBERT VITALE
Faced with a City Council that’s nervous about the cost, Mayor Michael B. Coleman’s administration is retooling its plan for streetcars in Columbus.
He’s not giving up on the idea, though. Spokesman Dan Williamson said changes in the works are “ not in terms of whether, but how.”
Money is the issue. A financing plan offered in March relies on the city’s general fund for more than a quarter of its $103 million total. That makes council members skittish because Columbus already faces a $75 million general-fund deficit projected for 2009.
A revised funding plan will take another six to eight months, said Mike Brown, Coleman’s urban ventures coordinator. The delay means streetcars likely wouldn’t make their debut during the city’s bicentennial in 2012.