Milwaukee city leaders are attempting to bypass a state law that hinders funding for the expansion of the Hop street car system. The Department of Public Works has estimated that the full expansion plan would cost over $400 million, with up to 70% of that amount potentially covered by federal grants. However, council members were informed today that they are unable to apply for federal funding until they determine how to finance the local match. Without securing a local source of funds, they cannot even submit an application.
The Department of Public Works emphasized the need to identify a funding plan, as they currently lack the necessary resources to initiate an extension to Fiserv Forum, which would require a minimum of $6 million. Although the state’s shared Revenue plan prohibits the use of tax increment financing for this purpose, the city is exploring potential alternatives pending a legal opinion from the city attorney..