So there was this project that was a lot like Star Wars--it was futuristic and fancy and to the liking of a gentleman who digs science fiction. But a lot of people thought it seemed kinda half-baked. And though it was supposed to get money from Barack Obama (via Judy Clibborn), Clibborn instead gave the money to everyone else. Some City Council members blamed Greg Nickels, who they said misled them. Now the Council says it won't go forward until someone can find some more cash. (The city is applying for federal stimulus money, hoping it won't miss out this time.)
The project, of course, is the Mercer Corridor Project. The City Council voted 9-0 today for a bill that lets SDOT acquire right-of-way properties and advertise for construction contracts, but prevents the city from spending any money on the project that hasn't already been set aside. Basically, no construction will happen until the Council decides there's sufficient funding.
A few words from project opponent Nick Licata, who sent out a press release about the vote, and an encore showing of Mercer Corridor Death Star after the jump:
Licata sent out this press release:
"Since 2004, I have argued that funds being considered for development of the Mercer Corridor should be used to address more pressing transportation needs. There still remains a difference of opinion on the City Council and in the public about whether the $200 million dollar project is a good use of taxpayer dollars. Still, I am gratified that today I have a piece of Mercer legislation I can support. For that, I thank my colleagues on the Council for showing with their vote that they share my long-held belief that the project should not get a green light until a realistic funding plan is in place."
Speaking via phone, he said, "Ideally, I don't think [the city] should be able to go out and solicit bids, but the votes weren't there." The West Marine case--in which the property owner is objecting to the city's acquisition of its land for the project--has been accepted by the state Supreme Court and may not be ruled on until fall, he added.