The Palm Beach Post: Martin County Commission to discuss taking legal action against All Aboard Florida
Posted on April 14, 2015
Martin County commissioners are expected to discuss today whether to file suit to block All Aboard Florida’s express passenger rail service planned between Miami and Orlando.
The commission will also decide whether to continue to pay Washington, D.C.-based attorney Steven Ryan to fight the project. Ryan and his firm also represent Citizens Against Rail Expansion, one of the private rail company’s most vocal critics.
The commission in March voted to pay Ryan’s firm $80,000 for legal services related to the All Aboard Florida project while the county sought proposals from other law firms.
The county issued a request for qualifications for legal services on March 19. Ryan’s firm was the only one to respond.
At today’s meeting, the commission will also be asked by county staffers for authorization “to initiate appropriate action to defend Martin County’s interest.”
All Aboard Florida plans to run 32 trains per day between Miami and Orlando on the FEC tracks. Trains are expected to begin running between Miami and West Palm Beach in late 2016. Service between West Palm Beach and Orlando is expected to begin in 2017.
Although All Aboard Florida, which will stop in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, has been mostly supported in South Florida, Treasure Coast residents are certain they will see increased traffic, noise and threats to safety without the benefit of a station.
Indian River County commissioners voted last month to pursue a lawsuit against the federal Department of Transportation challenging the provisional approval of $1.75 billion in tax-exempt bonds for All Aboard Florida.
The bonds were called a “linchpin” to completing the express passenger rail line in an application submitted by All Aboard Florida in August.