The Loop Trolley leaders are asking for more taxpayer money. (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -
The man championing the Loop Trolley project is asking for more taxpayer money.
St. Louis County already invested $3 million and now Joe Edwards is lobbying council members for $500,000 more.
"I wanted to wait until the very end to make sure that was the right amount. Instead of asking for a million, we're asking for $500,000," said Edwards.
He explained they originally requested $4 million from the County and while he is grateful for the $3 million granted, this final $500,000 is key.
"The trolley will still open if we don't get it, but it will satisfy the Federal Transit Administration if we do get it for future projects in St. Louis,” said Edwards.
He said the money would go toward extended hours and contingency funds in case an engine breaks down, for example.
Edwards says he is reaching out to council members individually.
County Executive Steve Stenger says his office has not received an official request for additional funding for the Loop Trolley. While Edwards says he has left a voicemail for Stenger, there is, indeed, no official request yet.
That could come from Councilman Pat Dolan, who says he would consider it and will talk to other council members before determining if he will introduce an official request. Dolan says he would only be on board if the money comes from Prop A funds, which must go toward transportation. Dolan says there is about $40 million sitting in that pot, so to speak. Edwards confirms he wants the money to come from Prop A funds, not general revenue.
Regardless of where it comes from, other council members are not on board.
Councilman Mark Harder says he predicted a year ago that there would be another request for funding and as it surfaces, he is still opposed to any additional funding for the project.
"Here we go again," said Harder, who does not think the request, if officially presented, will get enough votes for approval.
"It's not going back on that. We have the money to get it up and running," said Edwards. "But we need it to make sure it runs right,” said Edwards.
Edwards says the trolley is on schedule to be up and running, with passengers, by mid to late October. Once it is, fares will be $2 for 2 hours or $5 for an all-day pass.
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