Istook Stance May Kill Plan, Officials Say

Charolette Aiken Published: September 11, 1996
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An estimated $300,000 operating cost for the rail system would be "substantially reduced by increased revenues from parking garages. We are trying to make the downtown friendlier to tourists and visitors. As we open up our new convention facility, as new hotels open, we (need) to have a way people unfamiliar with our downtown streets ... can get on a system that makes frequent runs," Norick said.

"I don't think it's a pork project," Norick said. "The voters approved it as part of the MAPS referendum that we would fund some part of the transportation link. I think it makes a lot of sense. The citizens are putting in their money. We've got $3 million allocated and I would suspect as time goes on we'll put more in that project to make sure it's done right," the mayor said.

"I'm really working now through Sen. (Don) Nickles office. He is very supportive of this project and is trying to see if we can get it through the conference committee."

The project would improve the viability of MAPS , Norick said.

City planners touted the transportation link to private investors along Interstate 40 and Meridian Avenue as a way for conventioneers to get to downtown sites from hotels and motels near the fairgrounds.

In 1993, voters approved a five-year, 1-cent sales tax to fund nine major sports and entertainment facilities as part of MAPS.

"I think the citizens would like to see it done this way (with federal funding), and I would too. I plan to use it. I think what we would like to do is get this basic (link) in and when we get toward the end (of the project) maybe we can add amenities and expand it if it becomes more popular," Norick said.

Archive ID: 660722


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