Charlotte city leaders are now one step away from signing off on the new plan to pay for the next leg of the streetcar project.
The city's already building the first mile and a half of the Gold Line. Workers are closer to stretching the line in each direction. A City Council committee signed off on the latest streetcar plan Thursday. The full council votes the week after next.
Council member James Mitchell Jr. has been pushing for the project for years.
"Extremely happy, but I'm not going to smile. We have a lot of work to do," he said.
The plan is to use city surplus money for half, $63 million, of the project and ask the federal government for the other $63 million.
"Can't predict 100 percent. Nobody knows. It's a highly competitive process. We think we have a really good project. A good track record with the feds. We think we have a really good shot at it. Worst case, we don't get it; we go back to the drawing board," said City Manager Ron Carlee.
A big selling point to council is a study, released in full Thursday, which says this line could lead to more than 1 million square feet of homes, offices, and shopping and eventually up to $7 million in new property taxes for the city.
Charlotte Isenhower would live along the line.
"We need to have that backbone of a good public transit system or else the city is going to become a blight or urban sprawl," she said.