Administration brings items to Council to advance streetcar project

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The City of Cincinnati's Administration is bringing forward three pieces of legislation to the Budget and Finance Committee of Cincinnati City Council on Sept. 24. The three items will advance the streetcar construction schedule.

The first piece of legislation establishes a $15 million account. The City will used the funds to advance the work for the Duke Energy utilities until the City and Duke Energy can address who should pay for the relocation for Duke's electrical gas lines under city streets. Duke Energy agreed its utilities would only need to be moved three feet from the streetcar line instead of the original estimated eight feet.

The $15 million will come from a recent sale of land, which gave a total of $37 million. "It is not feasible to sit idle awaiting an outcome," said City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. The City expects to recover the $15 million after it is decided who is legally responsible to pay.

The Administration is also asking Council to change the source of funds for repaying $14 million of the $25 million in notes issued as part of the original financing proposal for the project. "This District was hit harder than other TIF Districts because of the decline in office lease rates within the district," said Finance Director Reginald Zeno.  "We will undergo a study to determine the current valuation of the Downtown South TIF, but because we need to issue the bonds, we will use this as the source in the interim."

The Administration will recommend a right-of-way ordinance after determining a legislation that clarifies rights and obligations for the control and management of the right of way would benefit the City and regulated utilities.

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