Organizers of KRM are raising $1 million for another study for the proposed commuter rail system. Racine's share of the study's cost is $16,667, according to a letter written by Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Phil Evenson.
The new study is needed to submit KRM to the Federal Transit Authority in mid-2009 for additional money to proceed to the preliminary engineering stage of the project. Basically, that means doing all of the work needed to begin construction.
The study is funded by local, state and federal governments. Along with Racine, Kenosha and Milwaukee are contributing funds, as are Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee counties. The funding formula is 80 percent covered by the federal government, 10 percent by the state and 10 percent by local governments. Racine County is also being charged $16,667 for the study.
As a KRM supporter, the money is a no-brainer to me. But with Rep. Robin Vos in Caledonia, I wonder how much sense it makes to keep pushing studies. Vos is set against KRM and the multi-million dollar investment in his community. As long as he opposes it, there's little chance Republicans in the Assembly will back KRM, and Gov. Doyle has shown no interest in fighting for the project.
But the studies must go on! Here's a question: If we would have taken all of the money spent on studies over the years and simply built KRM, would it be running by now?