Cashing in: Streetcar delays could deliver dollars to City of Tucson

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Cashing in: Streetcar delays could deliver dollars to City of Tucson

By Marcelino Benito. CREATED May 1, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tucson's first street car was supposed to arrive March 29th. Wednesday, 33 days later, still no streetcar.

"It's cha-ching," said councilman Steve Kozachik. "Let's start charging them for that."

Kozachik says it's time for the company to pay up. 9OYS obtained a contract that delineates just how much.

"Some serious bucks," said Kozachik.

Here's the breakdown: $250 per day, per vehicle until the streetcar arrives. After 90 days, that number jumps to $1,200 a day. It's $1,800 per day for a delay longer than 240 days.

If you're keeping track, that's more than $100,000 for one car. Right now, three cars are delayed.

"Potentially approaching a million dollars of liquidating damages," said Shellie Ginn, the streetcar project manager.

But the City at this point says the focus isn't collecting the money.

"It's a contractual thing," said Ginn. "And we have noticed them, but the goal is to get our vehicles."

"Why would they take us seriously?" asks Kozachik.  "All we did was send them a letter. I'm saying take the money out of their pockets."

Kozachik says the cash-strapped city needs to get more aggressive and bill the company now -- not months later.

"Those are taxpayers dollars we deserve to have in this community because Iron Works fell on a sword and didn't get job done," Kozachik said.

The City says we should expect our first car delivery sometime this August. Meanwhile Oregon Iron Works did release this statement, but would not confirm the City has served them notice of the damages owed.

"United Streetcar continues to communicate with the City of Tucson, regularly, about the schedule and milestones."