Publish Date: 
Monday, February 25, 2019 - 2:00pm

The Train Wreck Times by Susan Mehiel

They’re at it again! Earlier his week we received word from IRC that the Florida Development Finance Corporation is reviewing ANOTHER Private Activity Bond Request from Virgin Trains in addition to the $1.1 Billion they haven’t sold and the $600 million already sold. This approval would be for $950,000,000 in PAB’s and brings their allotment of taxpayer-subsidized funding to a grand total of $2.7 Billion.

It appears this activity by the FDFC has been done in the dead of night and has been fast-tracked to get the approval before we could appropriately prepare comments for the TEFRA hearing to be held in Tallahassee on March 1 and the FDFC board meeting to approve on March 11 in Jacksonville. Our county attorney had to use a number of Freedom of Information Act requests of the quasi-governmental agency to find out what is happening. 

We’ve spent the last few days notifying our elected officials across the state and in DC about this travesty. We, like our county, believe at the very least the FDFC meeting to approve the bonds should be held in the region where the monies will be spent. However, it is the position of The Alliance that the FDFC should NOT be considering any additional funding for this sure-to-fail project until FDOT promulgates new regulations covering trains going 80 – 125 mph.

The following letter was sent by the organization to the head of the FDFC

We hope you will send him a letter about this underhanded move by his agency and call on him to stop the process until more is known about how they will make the trains safe! 15 people are dead!

FDFC Phone: (407) 712-6356