Some Local Businesses Leaders Back Milwaukee Streetcar Proposal

Common Council To Vote Tuesday On Whether Work Can Continue On Plan

Photo: Chuck Quirmbach/WPR

Some Milwaukee business leaders are getting behind a plan to build Wisconsin’s first modern streetcar system as the proposal heads for a key vote on Tuesday.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wants to use federal money and tax incremental financing to build a streetcar system for about three miles of the city’s downtown with a possible expansion later.

Opponents of the plan are asking to let voters weigh in on a referendum.

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But for now, it’s up to the Milwaukee Common Council to approve more work on the project.

Some city business leaders are ramping up their support for the streetcar. Linda Gorens-Levey, of Stark Investments, said the system would spur development near the route.

“And why does that matter? Because it means a larger tax base for our city and more resources to support our schools,” she said.

Top executives from ManpowerGroup, Johnson Controls and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin also say they want streetcar construction to get underway.