Officials in the Detroit suburb of Troy will return $8.5 million in federal stimulus money that was supposed to build a new transit center.
After a last-ditch attempt at compromise, the Troy City Council voted 4 to 3 to cancel the project.
The issue has been extremely contentious. Troy officials had worked on the project for more than a decade.
But Tea Party-influenced candidates recently won a majority on the Troy City Council. They saw the project as an example of wasteful federal spending.
Mayor Janice Daniels says her vote was a matter of taking a stand.
“One of the issues that we campaigned on was we were not going approve this transit center because we didn’t believe it was the right way to use the taxpayer’s money or to move this city forward,” Daniels said.
The Council’s decision came despite pressure from Troy’s business community and Governor Snyder, who see expanding transit as a way to boost economic growth.
William Cowger is with the Troy Chamber of Commerce.
“Basically…they decided on ideology before Troy. That they would refuse funds that would help us in the future, for our economic development. Bottom line is, they gave away our money,” said Cowger.
The money will be re-allocated for other transportation projects.