Barrett’s underwater streetcar

What is it with Liberals and mass transit money pits?

In a six-page letter, the Public Service Commission told state Senators Van Wanggaard and Leah Vukmir that combined estimates from Wisconsin Electric Power Company, American Transmission Company, and AT&T indicate utility relocation expenses  would add $55 million to $70 million to the cost of Mayor Tom Barrett’s  $65 million Milwaukee streetcar line.

Four days later, the Mayor’s office released a statement that might be read as addressing concerns about utility costs—assuming an exceptionally careless reader.  The statement was painstakingly crafted to suggest there’s nothing to worry about, but it really doesn’t say that or anything else.

The statement’s purpose is to “reassure the public that as the Milwaukee Streetcar Plan moves into its Final Design and Engineering phase that all options to reduce the project’s related utility costs will be examined.”

Well, color us reassured. We’d been thinking the plan would proceed regardless of whether those costs were examined, let alone reduced.  But reassuringly, starting early next year the responsible officials “will be able to gather all the necessary information and provide all interested parties with facts.”

Gee, we’d have thought it possible to gather necessary information and provide facts by now. The utility cost estimates strike us as necessary information, but then we aren’t mass-transit experts.

The statement says the Mayor “wants to be clear in stating that the Milwaukee streetcar will not and should not go to the construction phase until we have a final set of costs and facts.”

That’s good.  All that’s missing is some indication those costs and facts will make any difference.


About Wisconsin Club for Growth
The Club for Growth is a national network of over 40,000 men and women, from all walks of life, who believe that prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom. Wisconsin Club for Growth, Inc. is dedicated to informing, educating and rallying citizens of Wisconsin to embrace and enact policies that lead to sustained economic growth, limited government, and minimal taxation. Wisconsin Club for Growth can and will have an enormous impact on the direction of our state. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes that effective lobbying is done at all stages of the budget cycle, including when our leaders make public promises and can be encouraged to support policies that spur economic growth. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes we must support pro-growth policies and encourage public officials with backbones to remain truly committed to making our economy and our state stronger. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes our leaders must stand up to the tax and spend mentality in Madison and work tirelessly to cut taxes and unleash the power of the free-market.

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