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Council Members Halt Streetcar Funding

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Published on Dec 4, 2013

CINCINNATI (Angenette Levy) -- City leaders have voted to halt spending on the Streetcar project.The vote follows three days of debate by the mayor and new city council members. Supporters and opponents of the streetcar made their pitches Wednesday afternoon and things sometimes got emotional.The votes on the 11 ordinances that suspend work on the streetcar passed by a vote of 5 to 4. This vote turnout was expected, no surprises there.There was a lot of disappointment among streetcar supporters. They were hoping that the council would take up an offer from a private donor to pay for some of the construction costs for between 7 to 10 days. That motion did not have enough support to pass at this council meeting so it will be referred to a committee. There will be some work that will continue that would have been done had the streetcar project been completed or shut down.The opponents of the streetcar project contend that this, pause as they call it, is not a cancellation. They believe they can have an independent study of the cost to cancel the streetcar vs. the cost to complete construction of the project in as little as 14 days. There will still be some work going on but it will not be as intensive as streetcar supporters had hoped.The council debate of the streetcar has produced some bickering. Budget and finance committee chairman, Charlie Winburn, says he wants to keep things from getting nasty.In response to the streetcar drama he is proposing a civility rule that calls on council members to show mutual respect.

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