The Regional Transportation District stands to gain millions of dollars in refunds from the U.S. Department of Transportation under legislation sponsored by Colorado's U.S. senators.
Republican Sen. Cory Gardner and Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet introduced the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Equity Act Wednesday, according to Gardner's office.
The money that would be refunded is from credit-risk premiums paid on the federal loan taken out to help pay for the redevelopment of Denver Union Station in 2010.
The transit agency hopes to recoup a $28.9 million refund, with interest from the time the loan was paid off in February 2017, an RTD spokeswoman said.
Since the city paid off the loan more than 20 years early, RTD wants a refund on the premiums.
“The Denver Union Station project has been a wonderful success, and it’s important that RTD gets this money back so they can continue to invest in Colorado,” Gardner said in a statement.
“I was proud to introduce this legislation with Senator Bennet. We remain committed to enhancing the transportation and infrastructure systems in Colorado to increase the quality of life for Coloradans.”
Bennet added in the press release issued by Gardner's office: "Denver and RTD worked hard to repay their Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loan 20 years ahead of schedule. With this project fully completed and the loan repaid, our legislation will ensure that Denver and RTD receive the premium refund they are due promptly. This will enable them to continue to pursue critical transportation projects that will benefit the community.”
Dave Genova, RTD's general manager and CEO, said the transit agency is eager to re-invest those dollars into new projects.
“The Denver Union Station redevelopment project continues to yield benefits for RTD riders throughout metro Denver, and this legislation would repay to RTD and Denver millions of dollars in long-withheld funds from the project – funds we are eager to re-invest in new transportation improvements for the region," he stated.