Monday, October 12, 2009

City can't pay for Parks and Greenbelt Development but still wants Streetcar

As I have pointed out numerous times, the city of Boise is running mounting deficits and is facing a $9 million budget shortfall.  This was just reported again in the Idaho Statesman in an article talking about - guess what - lack of funding for parks and the Greenbelt.

Let this serve as a warning.  If the streetcar project is put in, any cost overruns will mean that money for other city projects WILL BE REDUCED.  This is the same thing that is happening in other cities.  Streetcars have fairly fixed overhead and in the case of budget shortfalls, money will be diverted from other projects to pay for their continued inefficient operation.

This is the THIRD article in less than a month that has been in the news regarding departmental budget shortfalls in the city.  In September, Mayor Bieter told the media that the cities health care costs were straining budgets, and shortly afterwards Councilwomand Clegg reported that the arts programs were in funding trouble - but both of these people think the streetcar is something that the city should put in.

Please contact the City Council today and tell them we do not need a streetcar when the city has more urgent needs to attend to.

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