The Charlotte City Council voted to spend $12 million on engineering work in preparation for a proposed streetcar extension connecting “Johnson C. Smith University to the west and the Elizabeth neighborhood to the east,” reports Steve Harrison. The council made the allocation to solidify its commitment to the streetcar extension in the hopes that the down payment will help the city win a Small Starts grant from the Federal Transit Administration in 2015.
“Last year, City Manager Ron Carlee broke a yearlong deadlock over the project with a proposal to spend $63 million from city reserves and to seek $63 million in federal grants. That plan wouldn’t use property taxes…”
The city has already failed once to win a federal grant for the extension. The $12 million investment would be wasted if they fail to win the federal money.