Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Six months after threat, McCrory embraces Blue Line

Gov. Pat McCrory will be in Charlotte Thursday for the groundbreaking on the Blue Line Extension, six months after he told city officials that crucial state funding for the light rail line could be in jeopardy if they moved forward with a streetcar.

The Observer's Steve Harrison reported then that Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx was outraged over what he considered a threat. Without the state's $299 million contribution to the line's $1.1 billion cost, the Blue Line could not be extended nine miles from uptown to UNC Charlotte.

McCrory told City Attorney Bob Hagemann and deputy manager Ron Kimble then that "if the streetcar project were to go forward as currently proposed, future State funding for the Blue Line Extension could be at risk," the two said in a memo to the City Council.

Since then, City Manager Ron Carlee devised a way to pay for the streetcar without directly using property taxes, a plan the City Council adopted last month.

McCrory had supported a long-term capital plan that included the streetcar when he was mayor, but opposed using property taxes to pay for it. He was a key leader in getting the initial leg of light rail built, and his spokesman said in January that he was not threatening city officials and remained a light rail supporter.

Apparently Carlee's plan satisfied McCrory, and the governor will join federal and local officials for the 10 a.m. groundbreaking. The line, with state money flowing, is scheduled to open in 2017.

-- Taylor Batten


Wiley Coyote said...

The streetcar is an absolute waste of money, no matter where the money comes from.

Gipper1965 said...

The guy has blown it with his shenanigans surrounding the stealing of the city's airport. He better keep his mouth shut or the city with nearly 10% of the state's population will like him even less.

Zon said...

McCrory was for the streetcar before he was against it.

Anonymous said...

So... Now that there's a photo op available, Guvner McPope is coming home to smile for the cameras? Hmmm... I wonder if anyone he meets on the street while he "mingles" will cuss him out tomorrow? Surely, he'll make sure to tell us if he ends up being so badly dissed for being such a fine, upstanding advocate for mass transit... LOL... this guy just keeps reminding me that my write in vote wasn't wasted at all last election!

TomKerr said...

McCrory had always embraced the Blue Line extension. He just wasn't going to give us hundreds of millions of dollars if, at the same time, we were going to pay off the ghetto with a streetcar. The only reason for the streetcar is to buy the votes of the low income people along the proposed route.

bobcat99 said...

Wow, TomKerr, it's really a "black and white" world to you, isn't it? You've drank the GOP Kool-Aid. Man, I long for the days of Reagan and Holshouser. The race-baiting these days is beneath us all.

Justin Hea said...

"without direct funding from property taxes" this is code from some creative financing. In the end, taxpayers buy this crap. The street car is an absolute waste of money. Beware Charlotte taxpayers, you will be stuck holding the bill. Think about the whitewater center. Detriot south.