Two committees pass streetcar funding tool

Two Minneapolis City Council committees today passed a revenue capture tool to help pay for a streetcar line on Nicollet Avenue.

The Transportation and Public Works passed the measure unanimously. The Ways and Means/Budget Committee also approved the revenue tool, although City Council Member Meg Tuthill (Ward 10) abstained.

“I am very conflicted on this,” Tuthill said. “There are too many unanswered questions.”

The full City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposal on June 25. If approved, it would allow the city to capture $5 million to $6 million annually from five parcels of land that would be put toward a streetcar line from Lake Street to University Avenue. In total, the city could contribute up to $60 million.

In total, that project would cost $200 to $225 million, according to city estimates. The city hopes to get funding help from the federal government, Met Council, the state and other regional sources.

Today’s meeting was a public hearing, and four residents showed up to voice their opposition.

Included were mayoral candidates Cam Winton and Bob Carney Jr.

Winton argued in favor of a much cheaper enhanced bus system on Nicollet Mall.