LANSING (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder said today that he's considering fallback options in case the
Michigan Legislature doesn't back a plan to build a new bridge from Detroit to Windsor, including seeking an "interlocal agreement" with Canada that wouldn't require legislative approval.
The Republican governor said he hopes to the GOP-led House and Senate will back the bridge plan. But given his lack of success in getting legislation through the Senate, he's also pursuing other options.
Snyder met with Canadian Transport Minister Denis Lebel and other top officials in Windsor last week to discuss plans for a new bridge. He has declined to speak much about the negotiations but said today he remains hopeful that a bridge agreement can be reached this year.
"If you look at the state constitution, you'll see it actually includes Canada as a potential party to an interlocal agreement. It's kind of unique," Snyder said.
Snyder has said a second span between Detroit and Windsor is needed to speed exports and imports between the U.S. and Canada and add jobs.
The owners of the
Ambassador Bridge are fighting Snyder's efforts to build a separate bridge, pushing a November ballot proposal that would require voters' approval to build the alternative bridge and running an aggressive ad campaign saying it would cost taxpayers a lot of money.
Mickey Blashfield, a spokesman for the ballot measure campaign, recently criticized Snyder's consideration of an interlocal agreement.
"Given the magnitude of the decision to build a publicly funded bridge for the taxpayers of this state, we believe his decision to exploit this constitutional provision in an unconventional manner is an affront to not only the legislative process but to the residents of Michigan," he said.
Snyder told a vendors' trade association today that the Ambassador Bridge owners' claims are untrue. The Canadian government has offered to pick up the cost to build Michigan's bridge plaza, getting repaid through future toll revenues and not leaving state taxpayers liable even if tolls don't fully cover the cost.
The bridge itself will be built and operated by a private company through bids.
Michigan Campaign Finance Network reported this week that the
Detroit International Bridge Co., owned by Manual "Matty" Moroun, has spent $1.6 million this year on TV commercials opposing the new bridge. The company spent more than $6 million airing TV ads in 2011.
Source : https://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20120516/FREE/120519942/snyder-considering-interlocal-agreement-between-state-canada-toThanks for visit my website