The congressional spending deal leaves ART $19 million short, and Mayor Berry's administration has never said how it will plug that fiscal hole.
ART To Get $50 million FTA Grant
Project Still Short by $19 Million
Mayor Richard Berry’s Albuquerque Rapid Transit Project would get a $50 million federal transit grant under a proposed congressional spending bill, leaving the project $19 million short of the funds the city was hoping to get.
Berry’s administration has said that the $126 million ART project will be completed by the end of this year, but it has never said where it will get the money to plug the $19 million hole. The administration had applied for a $69 million Small Starts grant for ART from the Federal Transit Administration.
The funding for ART is contained in a FY 2017 spending package that congressional leaders have agreed to and that was released early this morning. The spending bill is expected to be approved later this week.
Last year, congressional appropriations committees recommended trimming $19 million off ART’s funding, which was contained in President Obama’s final budget. Since then, Berry’s administration has said that it would get the rest of the money in future federal budgets. But it has never said where it would find the $19 million to complete the project in the meantime, despite being asked for a plan by the City Council.
And it’s certainly no sure thing that the city will get the $19 million in future federal budgets. The Trump administration’s FY 2018 budget blueprint basically defunds the grant program that would fund ART.
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