Here’s how the city plans to pay $44M for the rail project

‘We’re probably taking the safest route, the least painful route.’

Here’s how the city plans to pay $44M for the rail project
Here's how the city's going to pay its share of the 20-mile project. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two weeks before a deadline set by the Federal Transit Authority, the city released its plan Monday to pay its $44 million share of the rail system.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the city will issue low-interest short-term commercial paper, which is a form of debt, to pay for its share of the 20-mile project.

The move comes after the Federal Transit Administration demanded that the city commit that amount of money to the rail project by Nov. 30 or face losing $748 million that it is withholding from the project.

“We’re probably taking the safest route, the least painful route, probably the most fiscally prudent route to get the $44 million over to HART by November 20,” Caldwell said.

The mayor says the short-term notes will only cost the city $4,000 to $5,000 in additional interest costs.

“I can’t emphasize enough, we wanted to actually issue these bonds. They would have been issued in September,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell again chastised the council leadership Monday for failing to solve the budget problem for more than a year, which forced the city to barely meet the deadline set by the FTA.

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