TROY (WWJ) – Troy residents for and against a proposed transit center are expected to attend Monday night’s city council meeting as they decide whether to move forward with the $8 million project backed by federal funding.
Supporters argue the project will bring in new businesses and residents and the federal grant money will only go to another city if they refuse it.
Troy Mayor Janice Daniels and several council members have said they don’t want to use federal stimulus money for a project that they believes will be a financial burden on the next generation of taxpayers.
Troy City Council member Doug Tietz is among those planning to vote no.
“Unfortunately there’s no plan or idea how to fund it going forward. It’s essentially like getting a Porsche free at The Price Is Right,” Tietz said.
“Sure, it’s a free Porche, but you have to pay the insurance, taxes, license, parts and repairs going forward,” he said. “And that’s the fundamental problem with the transit center. It’s nice to have, but we can’t afford it.”
Tietz said service demand doesn’t justify the project.
“Amtrak has been very clear that they won’t increase the number of trains if we build this. And the SMART service has been cut dramatically to the city of Troy,” he said. “So, the argument that this will be a heavily utilized location simply doesn’t hold up.”
Troy resident Bob Johnson said he fears the City will struggle to pay for the transit center’s upkeep and maintenance long after the federal dollars are gone.
“We’re having to cut services now and, no, I don’t want they to spend any more money,” Johnson said. “We take the money, we’ve gotta spend more money in Troy to pay for the thing. I don’t want it.”
“Birmingham bailed out, we should too,” another Troy resident told WWJ’s Ron Dewey.
Monday is the deadline to use the federal funds before they expire. The meeting inside Troy City Hall on Big Beaver is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Stay with WWJ and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.