by Sam Hieb
Outraged…..embarrassed…disappointed. Charlotte Observer reports the city’s Cross Charlotte Trail—a 26-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail from Pineville to UNC Charlotte—has a $77 million funding gap:
Now, the plan’s future is murky, with no clear source of funding to close the gap and no consensus on City Council about whether to proceed with a scaled-down version of the trail.
Council members this week said they were “stunned,” “outraged” and “embarrassed.”
“How could we have gotten it that wrong? The gap exceeds the total funding for the whole project,” said council member Greg Phipps.
“It literally was flawed from the beginning,” said council member Tariq Bokhari. “It boggles my mind.”
“There’s a lot of finger-pointing, and nobody really knows what happened,” said council member Ed Driggs. “This is a fundamental transparency issue.”
So council members think they can find the money (by the way there’s $38 million that’s available is enough to finish three miles of new trail—do the cost per-mile math yourself)—to finish the project? That’s a tough bid:
Finding money in Charlotte’s budget to cover the gap could be tough. The city has invested in major infrastructure projects in recent years, but largely with the aid of federal, state or other dedicated funding sources: The $1.2 billion Blue Line extension (50 percent paid by the federal government, 25 percent by the state, remainder from 1/2-cent local sales tax), the $150 million second phase of the Gold Line streetcar (50 percent paid by the federal government, 50 percent by Charlotte), a $110 million convention center renovation (funded by local hospitality taxes).
Look at the numbers tossed around here–and people think $5 billion to build a wall to keep our border secure–to help preserve our country’s sovereignty–is outrageous.