Have you ever seen the film Brewster’s Millions? If you haven’t, it’s a comedy where Richard Pryor attempts to spend a $30 million inheritance from his uncle. If he spends it in 30 days, he receives the full $300 million. If he doesn’t, he gets nothing.
Well, if you can believe it, the TTC has found itself in a similar situation.
When the federal government promised $856 million to Toronto in transit funding last year, there were a few rules and guidelines.
Per the stipulations, the money must be spent on projects that are scheduled for completion by March 2019. According to the Star, the city is beginning to worry that it will not be able to spend about $121.5 million by that time, which totals around 14 percent of the grant.
Unfortunately, the rules also stipulate that only 40 percent of the money can be spent in the final year. At the moment, advisors say about 37 percent is on the docket. This prevents the city from blowing through the $121.5 million in the last-minute.
To combat the issue, the city may ask the federal government to extend the deadline to ensure its desired projects can be funded by the federal grant. Otherwise, these projects will have to be funded by taxpayers as the federal funds disappear into thin air.
As in Brewster’s Millions, the TTC was warned when the funding was promised that it may be “difficult” to spend it all in such a short time.
The TTC may speed up the purchase of a new fleet of buses to lower the at-risk amount to about $84.8 million, but is currently not sure how to spend the remainder in time.
We won’t spoil the ending of Brewster’s Millions for you, but hopefully the TTC finds a way to spend its inheritance and make all transit-riders’ lives a little bit easier.
by Michael Ott via blogTO