Another delay for Detroit's light rail plans? | Michigan Radio

Another delay for Detroit's light rail plans?

Jul 14, 2011

This past Monday, Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reported on the growing controversy surrounding Detroit's light rail project. Reports indicated that private backers might pull out of the project. (Kresge Foundation President Rip Rapson told Cwiek  the foundation is committed to the project.)

Now, the Detroit Free Press is reporting on disagreements between Mayor Bing and the Detroit City Council over who should sit on the board overseeing the light rail project.

Some council members feel the proposed board doesn't have enough council representation.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Under Bing's proposal, the mayor and the council president would sit on the board with three other members appointed by the mayor. Council members said that wouldn't fly.

"If we're being asked to give up this much of the oversight ... it's important that this board makeup be more balanced," Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins said.

Councilwoman Brenda Jones added: "I just cannot conceive of sitting one council member and four mayoral appointees on an authority."

The city's chief financial officer, Norm White, says these issues must be resolved soon, or the project risks losing around $200 million in financial backing from the Obama Administration.

Here's a video made in 2008 highlighting the plans for the light rail project.