Public invited to speak on proposal to defund light rail

Virginia Beach residents can speak out Tuesday on a proposal to defund light rail in the city budget.

City Councilman John Moss put forth the proposal.

A Tide light rail train at the Newtown Road Station on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. (Judah Taylor/Southside Daily)
A Tide light rail train at the Newtown Road Station on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. (Judah Taylor/Southside Daily)

Moss’s ordinance would remove $20 million from the city’s budget that is currently appropriated for the potential extension of Norfolk’s light rail tracks to Town Center and a shared-use path.

The money already raised for the project, about $10 million, would be moved into a to-be-created “structural deficit mitigation account” that would be used to alleviate, in part, a projected $33 million shortfall in next year’s budget, according to the ordinance.

The city has raised the about half of the $20 million it allocated for the project since May, when it increased the real estate tax by 1.8 cents, according to a city spokesman.

A public hearing is required because the ordinance would alter the city’s budget by more than 1 percent. It begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers, on the second floor of city hall.

Those wishing to provide written comments or to register to speak should contact the city clerk at (757) 385-4303.

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