VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – City Manager Dave Hansen announced the city will pay $20 million back to the state for light rail costs, a spokesperson told News 3.
The city received $20 million from the state to help purchase the land where the Tide would have run. Voters decided not to support extending light rail during the November election. The city will make $5 million dollar payments over four years, the spokesperson said.
There was some question over whether the city could keep the money for another transportation project. Gov. Terry McAuliffe addressed the issue during a visit to Norfolk last week. “The spirit of the money was used for light rail. They can come back to me and make an argument – something at mass capacity to move people through transportation. Barring some agreement that money is coming back to the state,” he said. “It’s only fair.”
Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Lane said he was glad the issue has come to a resolution. He says using the money for a bike path or something else would’ve been “unacceptable” because the money was meant specifically for light rail.