City and streetcar advocates discuss plans with public

City and streetcar advocates discuss plans with public

Noreen Ward was among the crowd of people at the meeting in Blackstone Tuesday. Up for discussion was the proposed streetcar in midtown and downtown.

"It will get people from all over the city to the neat spots of Omaha," said Noreen Ward, who lives in Dundee.

She says she's someone who believes a streetcar would be a good thing for the city.

"I think it will vitalize the city like it has in San Francisco and Chicago," said Ward.

City reps who said they were neutral to the project gave the audience some stats on how a streetcar could bolster economic growth.

They also talked about parking and said it's not a problem in the city.

Advocates for the streetcar said it could lesson a need for parking.

The city also talked about the project's cost admitting that the numbers are a bit outdated:

$156 million, plus a yearly bill of $7 million.

"I think it's a good project if it can be financed by users," said Jim McGee, who lives in the area.

The city says those who could benefit the most from the streetcar would provide the majority of funding.

"I don't think it's fair to proceed if their plans are to assess the cost of the system on charitable institutions, churches and non-profits and the elderly," said McGee.

Ward expressed her own view about the plan to pay for the streetcar.

"Personally I'd be willing to sacrifice for that because I think that it does open up your heart and so many people who visit here say what a great city what great people," said Ward.

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