Planned Las Vegas Monorail Funding Update Delayed
A planned funding update tied to the Las Vegas Monorail Co. was temporarily derailed this week.
The issue was to be included at the Clark County Commission meeting on Tuesday, but was removed from the agenda before the meeting began.
Commission President Marilyn Kirkpatrick said she deleted the item because her original request did not include everything she hoped to get from the briefing.
“I put it there to see where we were going with the monorail and if there was any new information,” Kirkpatrick said. “I just didn’t have time to follow up before the agenda item on the issues I had that I wanted them to bring in information on, so I pulled it for their give a better list of questions I want them to be prepared to answer.”
Among those issues will be the monorail’s stance on trying to borrow $110 million to fund its proposed 2-mile extension from MGM Grand to Mandalay Bay, touted as an important aspect of the transportation plan on the day. of the event for the stadium in Las Vegas.
“That’s really one of the reasons I wanted to get an update from them,” Kirkpatrick said.
Monorail spokeswoman Ingrid Reisman said Monorail Co. knows why the article was withdrawn and said it would be prepared to provide the commission with the latest developments whenever the article is rescheduled.
“We have been asked to provide an update to the board and the article has been removed,” Reisman said in an email. “We will provide this update upon request again.”
Las Vegas Monorail Co. President and CEO Curtis Myles said in March 2018 that the company had determined where funding for the expansion would come from and said a public announcement was pending. However, that announcement has yet to happen over a year later.
In documents obtained by the Federal Aviation Administration Review-Journal, an email between two FAA officials, dated Dec. 13, 2018, claims that Clark County Aviation Director Rosemary Vassiliadis said that “the financing of the monorail did not take place”.
In addition to funding issues, Monorail Co.’s environmental assessment is still ongoing as the FAA needs additional information from the company before it can be completed, according to spokesperson Ian Gregor. from the FAA.
Additionally, an airport layout plan has not yet been submitted by the Clark County Department of Aviation, as requested by the FAA. The plan would include various updates to McCarran’s plans, including the airfield and runways and any monorail-related changes that affect the airport, Gregor said.
The planned expansion route crosses portions of McCarran’s property and the Department of Aviation would have to grant use of the right of way for this to occur.
In addition to the necessary funding and approvals that have yet to occur, Las Vegas Monorail Co. is still repaying the county a $2.1 million loan drawn from interest on a $6 million escrow account funded by the Monorail Co., created for the expansion project, which was used for related design and engineering costs.
The monorail has repaid $250,005 of that $2.1 million, making payments of $16,667 to the county each month, the most recent being this month, according to Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa.
“We are meeting all of our debt obligations and I have no reason to believe that we will not continue to meet them,” Reisman said.
In late 2017, the county also began setting aside $4.5 million annually in room tax revenue that the Monorail Co. can claim in an emergency. None of this money, the award of which is not guaranteed, has yet been requested by the Las Vegas Monorail Co.
Since the Monorail Co. originally set an 18-month construction deadline for the expansion, it wouldn’t be ready for the Las Vegas stadium to open if the project started today. The likely first game featuring UNLV football against the University of California, Berkeley is expected to take place in late August 2020.
Despite initial plans, Kirkpatrick isn’t ready to count the Las Vegas Monorail yet when it comes to its construction ahead of the first kickoff at the $1.8 billion, capacity domed stadium. of 65,000 places.
“We live in a fast city,” she said. “You’d be surprised how quickly we can build things. Some thought we couldn’t build a stadium in 2.5 years and we are doing a good job. In today’s world, deadlines change and that’s why we bring them in to update us on where they stand.