LaHood Turns Down Kasich's Request To Keep Train Money


UPDATED: Friday December 3, 2010 5:12 PM
The Obama administration on Tuesday turned down a request by Gov.-elect John Kasich to use $400-million awarded to the state under the federal high-speed train program for road-building and other projects.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a letter to Kasich that the Ohio train project, which would create regular speed passenger service between Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, would be good for the state and national economy.
     
During the campaign Kasich promised to cancel the project, which he said Ohio cannot afford, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.

WEB EXTRA: Kasich's Letter | SPECIAL SECTION: Campaign 2010 

On Monday, Kasich sent a letter to President Barack Obama, asking to use the money for roads and freight lines.
     
LaHood said the money can only be used for the train project.

A Kasich spokesman said he is "fully aware of the rules surrounding the use of federal funds and remains interested in pursuing additional flexibilities on this issue.  It is, however, refreshing to see that Secretary LaHood understands the importance of preventing anymore wasteful spending on the passenger rail project."
LaHood said if Kasich backs out as he plans, the government wants to come up with a phase out plan that does not waste taxpayer's money.

Gov. Ted Strickland's office on Tuesday said he has no plans to stop the project. Strickland said research for the project has many uses.
     
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November 8, 2010: Gov.-Elect Kasich Seeks Official End To 3C Rail Plans