Thursday, January 23, 2014

With $900+ Million Surplus, WI Could Have Handled $750,000 Amtrak Annual Cost

That was the state's estimate of Wisconsin's share of the projected Milwaukee-Madison Amtrak line annual operating cost  - - $750,000 - - a cost Walker inflated as high as $10 million and said we couldn't afford.

The construction was to be fully funded by the federal government, and the feds were likely to pick up most of the operating costs, the Journal Sentinel said:
Even with the federal government picking up the line's full construction cost, Walker has said he doesn't want state taxpayers to pay operating costs, projected at $7.5 million a year, starting in 2013. A state transportation official has said state taxpayers' share could be as little as $750,000 a year, if federal aid covers 90% of operating costs, as it does for Amtrak's existing Milwaukee-to-Chicago Hiawatha line.
Walker also nixed these employment gains as reported in early 2010 by the Journal Sentinel, based on official state estimates:
Therefore, total employment specifically linked to the train line would be 1,100 this year, 3,483 next year, 4,732 in 2012, 1,542 in 2013, 483 in 2014 and 167 in 2015. 
The remaining jobs that the state claims would be created - 181 this year, 577 next year, 803 in 2012, 305 in 2013, 138 in 2014 and 83 in 2015 - would be "induced" employment, or jobs at stores, restaurants and other businesses where the railroad workers would spend their wages.
Once Walker shut the project down, a Milwaukee train assembly plant in the central city was closed and that business was moved to Illinois.

The state is facing a major lawsuit over the shuttered plant and business lost to its builder, the Spanish train maker Talgo.


Anonymous said...

Walker , our hero ????

Boxer said...

The $750,000 is looking like an absolute bargain compared to the gabillions we could end up owing Talgo, courtesy Scott Walker's ego.