By Sean Ryan
Proposed changes to the judging of construction grant applications would give commuter rail in southeastern Wisconsin a less obstructed path to federal money.
But rail opponents argue projects such as the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter line are not worth the money, regardless of how the Federal Transit Administration ranks grant applications.
“I think that until the day we get our national and our state houses in order, we shouldn’t be taking on expenditures like this,” said Mark Block, Wisconsin director of Americans for Prosperity, a government spending watchdog group.
The Southeastern Regional Transit Authority within the next two weeks will apply for federal grants to plan the estimated $232.7 million KRM project. Project supporters say the odds of winning a grant are improving because the FTA is rewriting its system for ranking applications.