A measure giving the go-ahead for city-backed bond money to be used for the first time for construction of rail was approved by the Honolulu City Council today.
The vote was 7-2, with members Ann Kobayashi and Trevor Ozawa the two “no” votes.
Bill 42 (2017) allows the city to spend up to $214 million — no more than $26 million annually — to help finance the administrative costs for construction of the now $8 billion-plus, East Kapolei-to-Ala Moana Center line.
Critics say Council members were going back on a 2006 vote to not use city funds for rail construction.
The Federal Transit Administration demanded the city come up with $44 million in taxpayer dollars to help pay for administrative costs associated with the project and, by Nov. 20, detail how that would be accomplished as part of an overall recovery plan for the project.
The FTA had committed $1.55 billion to the project, but has held up releasing about $745 million pending the new recovery plan which the agency also demanded after the project price tag jumped to $8.165 billion from $5.26 billion several years ago.