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FTA demanding $12M from RTA after breaching Public Square agreement

Published: Dec. 30, 2016 at 7:25 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2016 at 8:15 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson talked to the media on Friday about the letter from the Federal Transit Administration asking for $12 million from the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority for breaching the Public Square agreement between the two.

Mayor Jackson said terrorism concerns is why Public Square should remain closed. Jackson adds they are in talks with the FTA and there are opportunities for a payment extension.

Jackson said he won't make a statement on how the Cleveland will chip in to help any potential fine the RTA may face.

According to the letter, the FTA is demanding the RTA for repayment by Jan. 19. In March of 2015 Cleveland closed Public Square to RTA buses.

Public Square was supposed to open on August 1, 2016, but the city closed the road for RTA traffic. This past August the FTA warned the RTA a permanent closure of Superior Avenue would be a breach of the agreement.

In October the FTA told RTA, the RTA would owe them $12 million for the breach of the agreement. The money represents the amount of Federal grant funds for the transit facilities, equipment and infrastructure financed under the agreement.

On Nov. 16 the City announced Public Square will remain permanently closed. On Dec. 16 Mayor Jackson told the FTA after consulting studies examining the effects from the continued closure of Public Square operations are not likely to be completed until the end of January.

The FTA does not believe the city has the right to request review of the validity or amount of FHA's claim within 30 days of this letter.

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