The Street Car projected cost $1B, according to Alderman Zielinski.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
February 10, 2015
Milwaukee, Wisconsin – On Tuesday, the Milwaukee Common Council on a vote of 9-6 approved the controversial governmental Street Car Project. South side Alderman José G. Pérez was among eight other aldermen who voted in favor to move forward on the Street Car Project.
Three other Aldermen, Joe Davis, T. Anthony Zielinski and Bob Donovan voted along with three other aldermen to oppose the project. Alderman Zielinski claimed that the city will have to borrow at least $69M and will end up paying the loan for $105M assuming that no cost over run occurs. But Zielinski suggested that a $27M open cost is expected and an estimated $996M or nearly $1B will be the cost for the project on the long run. He wanted to go record that he mentioned the projected costs, so that in the future, those aldermen who voted in favor would later say, they didn’t know it would cost that much to taxpayers.
Alderman Donovan told the Common Council that by voting to approve the project, despite an active petition drive that has collected over 17K signatures for a referendum would indicate that the Council didn’t care for the public interest to get involve in this issue. He considered the Street Car as old technology and not a modern day asset for the city. The project advocates, including Mayor Tom Barrett have failed to inform the public about the actual project cost for extending the Street Car route to other parts of the city. The current proposed route for the project doesn’t go to many places. Alderman Davis agreed with both Zielinski and Donovan’s claims.
Opposition advocates against the Street Car Project say, they will continue to get signatures to force a referendum. They have less than 28 days to complete their quest.