Thursday, July 18, 2013

Is the Wasson Way Project going to be sacrificed by the Port Authority?

The Cincinnati Enquirer [limited access] broke this story today: "EXCLUSIVE: Port wants $27M of city's $92M parking deal." As the lede explains, "The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority wants one-third of the $92 million upfront payment the city is to receive for leasing its parking system to the economic development authority to operate with private partners."

How will this affect funding for the Wasson Way Project? Well, courtesy of the City of Cincinnati, we have a breakdown of where the $92 million is to be spent:

  • $20 million for the I-71 interchange at Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive,
  • $4 million for the continuation of Smale Riverfront Park,
  • $12 million to convert the former Tower Place Mall,
  • $3 million (my estimate) to acquire the Wasson Line right of way,
  • $6.3 million for the City's reserve account,
  • $25.8 million to balance the City's 2014 budget and
  • $20.9 million to balance the City's 2015 budget.

The total of these expenditures is $92 million. So where is the $27 million for the Port Authority going to come from? Keep in mind that the $92 million is the initial payment; there will be ongoing payments as well. Is the Wasson Way Project in jeopardy? Stay tuned, I'll let you know.

Updated Aug. 7, 2013: I checked the City of Cincinnati web site and could find no indication, other than the statement above, that funds have been allocated to Wasson Way. More to come...


Anonymous said...

Why spend a dime on Tower Place? Wasson Way is the project that will give the City a real boost.

Bruce Hobbs said...

Agreed. The $12 million earmarked for Tower Place Mall could pay for the removal of the rails and the paving of Wasson Way.