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Hickenlooper, Bennet, Perlmutter Introduce Bill to Return RTD’s Down Payment for Union Station Restoration

May 25, 2021

Bureaucratic red tape has prevented RTD from receiving its $28.9 million down payment on a fully repaid federal loan

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet and Congressman Ed Perlmutter introduced legislation requiring the Department of Transportation (DOT) to quickly return $28.9 million, plus interest, for a deposit that RTD made to secure a federal loan to redevelop Denver’s Union Station.

In 2010, RTD received $155 million in DOT Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing for the Union Station project. The loan required a Credit Risk Premium (CRP) deposit to cover the federal government’s risk as a lender. Despite RTD fully repaying the loan in 2017, DOT has not returned RTD’s $28.9 million deposit. 

The Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Equity Act would direct DOT to return deposits to borrowers like RTD within 60 days of loan repayment. This is the same process currently utilized for other loans which have been repaid in prior years.  

“The new Union Station helps connect all Coloradans to Denver’s downtown,” said Hickenlooper, who helped spur Union Station’s redevelopment as Mayor and Governor. “RTD repaid its loan ahead of schedule. Our bill is simple: when a borrower repays a loan, the lender returns the collateral.”

“Denver and RTD repaid their loan and are due a refund,” said Bennet. “This legislation will ensure they receive their payment and are able to continue supporting critical improvements to the transportation services Coloradans rely on every day.”

“The Denver Union Station project is a great example of the partnerships and innovation needed to revitalize a neighborhood and improve transit options for the region,” said Perlmutter. “With this success, RTD was able to pay off their RRIF loan early and should be a model for other communities across the country. This legislation is necessary to ensure RTD receives the money they are owed for successfully paying off their loan to help RTD invest in providing high-quality transit options for Coloradans.”

“Sincere thanks to Senator Hickenlooper, Senator Bennet, and Representative Perlmutter for sponsoring this important legislation that benefits RTD and supports the agency’s effort to recoup the equivalent to a security deposit for a previously paid-off federal construction loan,” said Debra A. Johnson, RTD General Manager and CEO. “Additionally, I appreciate the strong support the agency received for this legislation by the co-sponsors of the Colorado Congressional Delegation. I, as well as my team, look forward to working cooperatively with the bill authors to see this legislation signed into law and the return of the Credit Risk Premium submitted by RTD.”

Text of the legislation is available HERE. The House bill is cosponsored by Reps. Ken Buck, Jason Crow, and Diana DeGette.


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