President Trump has thrown Mayor Berry and the Albuquerque City Council under the ART bus.
Trump’s proposed 2018 federal budget, which was released March 16, 2017, does not contain the $69 million Federal Transit Administration grant the mayor and his staff have said repeatedly is coming.
Over 20% of the ART bus project is complete and construction should be finished sometime October.
The contractor for the project Bradbury and Stamm will no doubt will be demanding full payment for their work.
The City has already placed and order for new buses.
Chief Operation Officer Michael Reardon and Transit Director Bruce Rizzieri both repeatedly said during public forums that such funding is never denied once the Federal Transit Administration grants are approved.
The Albuquerque City Council refused to put the project on the ballot and voted to fund the construction without having the money from the Federal government.
U. S. House and Senate conference committees have recommended a $20 million cut in Albuquerque’s Grant under the 2017 Obama budget and funding has not been approved.
According to the ABQ Free Press article, officials at the FTA said that if ART does not appear on the current list of “fully funded” projects, it’s won’t get any more federal money, and Albuquerque’s ART Project does not appear on the list of “fully funded” projects.
Mayor Berry and the Albuquerque City Council have egg all over their faces while city taxpayers will suffer the consequences of their sure stupidity for spending money that has not been received.
There are at least three ways the City can make up for the lost grant money but the money will still need to come out of the general fund:
1. Cuts to services with money taken out of all city departments.
2. City Council can pass revenue bonds guaranteed with future gross receipts tax revenues and at least seven (7) city councilors must vote yes for enactment.
3. Enact a special 1/8 cent gross receipts tax with a sunset clause.
The Albuquerque City Council has already enacted $13 million in revenue bonds to help pay for the project.
The entire ART Bus project has been based on lies as I said in my March 13, 2017 blog article “The City Hall Liar”s Club.
Every Albuquerque City Councilor who is running for re-election including Diane Gibson, Ken Sanchez, and Don Harris and who voted to fund the ART project need to be voted out office as does Pat Davis if he runs again.