(Cincinnati) -- The vote, and the discussion that preceeded it, came as no surprise to anyone. Wednesday afternoon, Cincinnati City Council members voted 5-4 for funding for the streetcar project. The vote, and the debate, mirrored one held Monday, during the Budget and Finance Committee meeting.
The $17.4 million dollars was needed for the project to continue, because construction bids came in higher than expected. The money comes from several sources, including funds that weren't used on streetscaping around the Horseshoe Casino, tax increment funding district monies, and cash put aside to renovate Music Hall that won't be immediately needed for that project.
On a vote of 6-3, Council approved the emergency clause, meaning the money will be shifted to the streetcar immediately.
On Friday, the Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, sent a letter to Mayor Mallory offering an addition $5 million in federal funding, if, among other stipulations, the City found the $17.4 million.
In other action at City Hall, Council approved incentives for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. The company has committed to keep 325 jobs in East Walnut Hills, and add another 75 positions over the next few years. Anthem also plans to make $1.5 million in renovations at their building at 1351 William Howard Taft.