KRM commuter rail funding opposed

    Dovetailing the opposition of two Milwaukee County supervisors, a pair of top GOP state reps have asked Federal Transit Administration officials to reject an application to start work on the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter rail line.
    Assembly Minority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald of Horicon and ranking Joint Finance member Robin Vos of Racine sent a letter to the FTA, arguing approval of the application from the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority would be "circumventing the intent of Wisconsin’s Legislature and funding an expensive project without the certainty that Wisconsin intends to fully participate in the initiative."
    The SERTA board last month voted 7-2 to apply for “New Starts” funding for preliminary engineering on the KRM, but the Legislature failed to pass RTA-enabling legislation for southeastern Wisconsin or the rest of the state during the last session.
    Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway and Supervisor Michael Mayo, who sit on the SERTA board, both voted against applying for the funding, saying the process should be delayed until dedicated funding for local transit is secured. 
    Fitzgerald and Vos also criticized what they say would be an immediate $11 increase in the car rental fee in those counties. In addition, the lawmakers argue that the RTA should instead focus on Milwaukee County’s bus system, and that the public and numerous local municipal boards oppose the project.
    "(W)e assure you we will do everything in our power to stop this project," the letter reads.

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