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CINCINNATI - Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. will present his plan to close a $17.4 million deficit in funding for the streetcar project to the Budget and Finance Committee Monday afternoon.
Dohoney submitted a five-page memo to City Council two weeks ago that details where the city will find the additional money needed to fund the controversial project.
The city manager recommends using $6.5 million originally intended to improve roads and other infrastructures around the casino. An additional $5 million set aside for renovations to Music Hall is also included in the proposal.
Money obtained from the former Blue Ash Airport is in the plan as well.
Dohoney also said Cincinnati could help fund the streetcar by borrowing more money from the federal government or using money from the Focus 52 Fund, which is supported by casino revenue.
That money goes toward all of the city's 52 neighborhoods.
As it stands, members of City Council are split on the plan.
Councilmember Chris Smitherman told 9 On Your Side reporter Amy Wadas earlier this month his mind is already made up.
"We're going to raid the TIF account which undermines our 52 neighborhoods and those capital projects, so I think it's an absolutely bad idea," he said after the details of the plan were released.
The TIF accounts are supported by special property taxes.
Smitherman also disagrees with the use money from the Local 52 Fund.
"The Local 52 Fund is supported by casino revenue. The casino revenue now in this memo is saying let's redirect it directly to this streetcar and those are dollars that could be used to save police and fire and sanitation workers," said Smitherman.
Councilmember Chris Seelbach thinks otherwise.
"I do think it makes sense to take money we saved from not spending as much for the casino infrastructure for the roads and sidewalks so this money is leftover. The casino is absolutely related to the streetcar. It's a block away," Seelbach said.
Dohoney will present his memo at 1 p.m.
A spokesperson told 9 On Your Side a vote isn't planned.
Stay with 9 On Your Side and WCPO.com for updates.
Read WCPO Digital reporter Kevin Osborne's full report on Dohoney's memo here (http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/news/local_news/City-mgr-Close-streetcar-deficit-by-taking-money-from-Music-Hall-other-projects)
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