Cincinnati Mayor-elect John Cranley has vowed to stop the controversial streetcar project.
However, according to the streetcar's project executive John Deatrick, stopping the streetcar may not be that easy. Deatrick broke down how much it would cost to put the brakes on the controversial project.
Thus far, $32.8 million has been spent on the project. According to Deatrick, the cost to cancel contracts and close out the project falls between $29 and $47 million. If there were to be a halt in the project, the federal money already used on the project will have to be paid back within 30 days or it will go into collections. The grants total $44.9 million.
After adding the expenses thus far, the estimated close-out cost and the return of federal dollars, Deatrick says the cost to cancel the project will cost between $107.3 million and $124.9 million.
Deatrick also takes a look at the intangibles involved. He claims canceling the project will mean 200 construction workers displaced, damage to the city-federal relationship, damage to SORTA-FTA relationship, a loss of the city's credibility in contractual agreements and a loss of projected property tax revenue.
However, Cranley refutes this argument.
"It does not cost $40 million to say stop," says Cranley. "It doesn't take a year to get out of this madness. We're going to immediately put a halt to this project and bring in new leadership to give us an honest and objective analysis of whether the cost to cancel is greater or lesser than the cost to continue. We know the cost of continuation is at least $115 million plus $4 million a year for operating."