Revised Troy transit center plan up for vote

From The Detroit News:

City officials to hear scaled-back proposal for bus, rail station

The City Council on Monday is expected to vote on a scaled-back proposal for the Troy Transit Center weeks after the panel failed to award a contract to begin the federally funded project.

The resolution released late Friday reduces expenditures by about $2 million and was proposed by Councilman Dane Slater. “The integrity of the project is still there,” said Slater, adding the new plan is based on a smaller facility with fewer features.

“It’s my hope that through these concessions we can get a majority vote on this project and move it forward.”

The new proposal follows a contentious 4-3 vote in December by the City Council to turn down an architectural and engineering contract for the facility. The vote meant the council essentially forfeited $8.4 million in federal funds. Slater’s resolution seeks to approve the project with a cost that will not exceed $6.2 million.

The reconfigured proposal was put together after Slater, Councilman Wade Fleming and representatives from the city and Troy Chamber of Commerce met with project engineers Hubbell, Roth & Clark Inc. Troy Chamber President Michele Hodges said they came up with the “Plan B” in hopes of gaining approval.

“The chamber has been diligent in its efforts to ensure this project is as fiscally responsible as possible,” she said.

Mayor Janice Daniels voted against the center. Daniels declined comment Friday, saying she hadn’t reviewed the proposal.

Council members Doug Tietz, Dave Henderson and Wade Fleming also voted against the contract. Mayor Pro Tem Maureen McGinnis, Jim Campbell and Slater supported it.

Fleming, who cast the deciding vote at December’s meeting, first offered a proposal to cap expenditures at $5 million. He later said he would support a project cost of up to $6 million. Fleming did not return calls seeking comment Friday.

The Troy Multi-Modal Transit Facility was to combine train, bus, taxi and future light rail service at a 2.4-acre site near Maple and Coolidge. Officials said the city would pay about $30,000 annually for maintenance and utilities.

Henderson on Friday agreed the cost has come down significantly, but said it won’t change his vote. “I have fundamental issues with us building a monument to nothing at that location,” he said.