Detroit’s planned 3.3-mile $137 million Woodward Avenue streetcar project faces a $12 million funding shortfall, and Michigan members of Congress warn the project could be in jeopardy unless the Transportation Department gives it more money.
A two-page letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx obtained by The Detroit News on Tuesday warns that the project urgently needs additional grant money to proceed. But even without federal funds, officials of the so-called M-1 project says it would survive — but concede it might have to be scaled back.
Whoa! Has anyone looked at the top two names listed on the M-1 Rail Board of Directors? Click here. So, you mean to tell me that Roger Penske, or Dan Gilbert, both billionaires, can’t reach into their front pocket and pull out $6M each? YGBFKM. Better yet, if one looks a little further down the Board of Director names listed one will see Ilitch Holdings. How about giving a little back to the rest of us in the state, Mike and Marian? There you go. Penske, Gilbert, and Ilitch, can all pony up $3M each to cover the “shortfall”.
Funny how yet another .gov subsidized P3 project always has these budget “shortfalls,” isn’t it?
The May 1 letter, which has not previously been made public, discloses that Detroit applied for a supplemental $12.2 million grant from the Transportation Department’s TIGER grant program. The project received $25 million in federal funds from the program in January 2013.
“Without the requested $12.2 million TIGER grant, this important project will be delayed indefinitely, and we fear the resulting costs could make the project unaffordable,” said the letter signed by Sens. Carl Levin of Detroit, Debbie Stabenow of Lansing and Reps. Sander Levin of Royal Oak, John Dingell of Dearborn, John Conyers of Detroit and Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township. The lawmakers, all Democrats, urged Foxx to “award a TIGER grant to close the funding gap.”
Subsidies in perpetuity! Get ready to keep paying up, Nerd voting suckers.