Ohio Gov. John Kasich reportedly said last week he does not support giving Cincinnati $50 million for a long-planned $150 million streetcar project.

“We couldn’t, from an economic point of view, justify the streetcar,” Kasich told reporters, according to the Gongwer News Service.

Another local paper reported that the Republican governor phoned Democratic Mayor Mark Mallory to tell him the state would likely not approve the money.

The Transportation Review Advisory Council, headed by the director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, is expected to vote on the project in April.

The nine-member panel will decide whether to approve a $35 million grant as well as reaffirm $15 million it approved in 2009. The project could fail without the state money.

The streetcar line would connect the downtown riverfront to the University of Cincinnati. Supporters say it would boost economic development in several neighborhoods located along the proposed route. Critics have decried the cost.

The city in 2010 announced it had won a $25 million federal grant for the project. The grant is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s $293 million of stimulus money for streetcar, trolley, and bus projects. The City Council last year also approved up to $64 million of bonds to finance the project.

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