While an entourage of elected officials and business people are in Europe this week surveying potential trains for the Anaheim-Las Vegas line, financing to launch the project has begun.
The Anaheim City Council recently voted to allocate $200,000 to help finance the search for a public contractor. In Nevada, the city of Las Vegas, the Convention/Visitors Authority and Clark County each donated $270,000 to the project, and the state chipped in $120,000. In addition, a federal grant offered $250,000.
"I think that's all we're planning on asking for," said Paul Taylor, executive director of the bistate commission in charge of the project. The commission will begin evaluating proposals in July, and hopes to award a contract by the end of the year.
If that process should snag, Anaheim city officials say that they will likely continue to financially help the commission during these initial stages.
"As far as the council members are concerned, they see it as an investment," said Greg Trombley, administrative services coordinator for the public works department.
City officials see the increased accessibility to the Disneyland-Convention Center area as beneficial to the city, especially in terms of sales tax revenues, he said.
Supervisor Don R. Roth, who is vice chairman of the commission in California, said he hoped Anaheim residents would focus on the long-term gains of the project, rather than the relatively smaller short-term loss of city funds.
However, city and county officials would not venture to estimate how much Anaheim or other entities might ultimately contribute for the train.