St. Lucie County Commission passes resolution opposing All Aboard Florida

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 6:00am

 By Keona Gardner June 17, 2014 Source Article at TCPalm

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — If All Aboard Florida officials were to propose a stop in St. Lucie County or elsewhere on the Treasure Coast, St. Lucie County Commissioners said they would still oppose the project.

In a 5-0 vote Tuesday, the commission approved a resolution that called the $2.25 billion high-speed passenger train “a threat to the public health, safety and welfare.”

All Aboard Florida plans to run 16 daily round trips between Miami and Orlando — along the existing Florida East Coast Railway tracks through the Treasure Coast.

During the half-hour meeting, which was attended by 12 residents, commissioners said they supported the resolution because the train service would tie up traffic and stop emergency-service providers from making timely responses.

Commission Chairwoman Frannie Hutchinson said her opposition to the project has nothing to do with no stops planned for the county or any where on the Treasure Coast.

“The stops and the public safety are two separate things,” she said. “All Aboard Florida officials would have to address the public safety aspect first before I could ever support the project.”

Commission Vice-Chair Paula Lewis said she thinks All Aboard Florida’s 16 trains making two trips through residential areas is too intense.

“This is not regular rail service, the freight service we’re used to seeing,” Lewis said. “I think the location of the railroad track is inappropriate for what is being proposed.”

By Keona Gardner osted June 17, 2014 Source Article At TCPalm

Commissioner Chris Dzadovsky said putting a stop in the county or the Treasure Coast may change how he views the project but still he would not support the project.

“The issues — proximity to residential, cost for the county to maintain the crossings, the noise, residents access to emergency services — that will remain the same. Those must be address regardless if the train stops here or not.”

At least four Treasure Coast cities, as well as the Martin County commissioners, have passed resolutions opposing All Aboard Florida.

The St. Lucie commission also passed, in a 5-0 vote, a second resolution asking to extend the public comment period from 45 days to 90 days on the Federal Railroad Administration’s draft Environmental Impact Statement.

However, the federal agency in May already extended it from 45 to 75 days, and last week, it rejected Gov. Rick Scott’s request for a second extension to 90 days.

The impact statement, which is expected to address many of the issues raised, likely will be released within two months, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.