Common Council moves Milwaukee Streetcar forward
The Milwaukee Common Council voted to move the Milwaukee Streetcar forward today.
Discussion involved opportunities, costs and general merits and concerns of the Streetcar project.
Ald. Bob Donovan called for "letting the people of Milwaukee decide" via a citywide referendum. Ald. Nik Kovac noted that the Streetcar is a public works project similar to a bridge remodel or road repaving, and that the Common Council has an obligation to build and develop the infrastructure of Milwaukee.
A motion to mandate a referendum failed with only three aldermen (Bohl, Donovan, Dudzik) voting in favor.
Ald. Jim Bohl praised Downtown Ald. Bob Bauman for his leadership but said he "has additional concerns" about the project. Ald. Dudzik called the Streetcar an "absolute horrible idea" and said, "shame, shame, shame" on aldermen that voted for the project.
Ald. Michael Murphy also echoed concerns on costs but said he hoped that "he's totally proven wrong."
Kovac said "he looks forward to healthy debate on how to expand the route in the coming years."
Ald. Zielinski offered an amendment on costs. Spending will be limited to engineering costs for now, and the project will need reviews along the way during construction.
Alds. Davis, Bohl, Donovan, Murphy and Dudzik voted against the project.
The Marquette interchange had estimates of $120MM to move utilities... the costs ended up being ~$20MM. The streetcar's estimates are ~$50MM, do you see where this is going?
Alright city of Milwaukee politicians.....you approved this, you figure out how to keep it funded. As a Milwaukee county resident, I had no representation. I don't want county taxes to be used to fund the upkeep and maintenance or any of the infrastructure changes that are not part of the initial $65M. It's too bad that our federal government is arguing about raising the debt ceiling at the same time that they're giving out $55 million dollars to fund unnecessary projects like this streetcar. How much more taxpayer money is being frivilously spent?
Only the politicians in the City of Milwaukee will decide that we need to move backward a century rather than moving forward. After the trolley, perhaps they might suggest that we only allow horses downtown. It's about time our City look to cities such as Minneapolis who have done an amazing job of growing their city rather than regressing. Their downtown is glorious with a wonderful shopping mall while we sit here looking at the Grand Avenue Mall where no one is safe to be in.
Evidently there was no talk about how much it will cost taxpayers to tear up city streets, re-route phone lines, steam pipes, etc in order for this to happen. This will be the constant reminder of the Barrett regime as the cost overruns haunt taxpayers for decades...
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