State Capital Briefs: ALL ABOARD FLORIDA FOES WANT MEETING WITH SCOTT
Posted on July 9, 2014
State Capital Briefs
A new anti-passenger rail coalition, comprised of groups from some wealthy residential communities in northern Palm Beach and Martin counties, want their concerns heard directly by Gov. Rick Scott. Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida, the latest effort to oppose the renewal of passenger rail service along Florida’s East Coast, sent a letter to Scott on Monday requesting a meeting on the rail plans. The group said it questions the funding for the All Aboard Florida project and is troubled by the potential impacts to motorists, boaters and first responders by adding 32 trains a day on the Florida East Coast rails near their waterfront communities. “Decreased property values and increased noise — both likely fallouts of these rail projects — are also concerns, and again cut to the heart and soul of our basic concern: quality of life,” the letter said. The request came a day after officials from All Aboard Florida announced that the planned Miami-to-Orlando service will kick-off in 2016 as just a Miami-to-West Palm Beach line. Scott has asked All Aboard Florida President Michael Reininger to “be sensitive” to residents’ concerns and for extra consideration to be given to the drawbridge crossings over the New, St. Lucie and Loxahatchee rivers. On June 26, Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, announced his opposition to the planned passenger service. While Scott has touted the project as a private venture, the state budget includes $10 million for train noise buffers and $230 million for a terminal at Orlando International Airport that is planned to be used by All Aboard Florida.