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Loss of City Funds Does Not Automatically Kill Streetcar

 
Loss of City Funds Does Not Automatically Kill Streetcar
Posted July 29th, 2014 @ 8:58am

  Mayor Ivy Taylor's surprise decision late Monday to pull the city's $32 million funding from that controversial downtown streetcar plan does not kill the project, but the VIA Metro Transit board could drive a stake through the heart of the streetcar at a special meeting on Thursday, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

  The city's contribution is actually the smallest of the funds granted to build the more than $250 million project, and VIA could keep the project alive and attempt to make up the city's funding someplace else.

  But the VIA board is made up of appointees from the City Council and Commissioners Court, as well as board members appointed by suburban cities.  With City Council poised to pull it's support, and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff urging the county appointees to the VIA board to pull their support for the streetcar, the prognosis for the project is not good.

  In addition, Taylor plans to appoint a 'charter committee' which will look at, among other things, transportation planning, and she pledges that any attempt to approve a streetcar will first have pass a vote of the people.

  All this happened as the City Clerk's office was poised to rule on whether streetcar opponents, led by the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association, had submitted enough petition signatures to place a charter change amendment on the city ballot in November to kill the streetcar.  The city will report on the outcome of that petition drive at a special council meeting set for next week.

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