The TC Palm: Letter: St. Lucie County Commissioners’ underwhelming statement on All Aboard Florida

Posted on March 27, 2015

Letter: St. Lucie County Commissioners’ underwhelming statement on All Aboard Florida

It’s time the St. Lucie County Commission joined the real fight to stop the trains. Taxes will skyrocket with the increases in crossing maintenance fees (from the current $275,000 annually to $550,000), quiet zone certification, redesign and engineering of crossings and accident/death liability costs.


The tax base will dwindle from the devaluing of homes within 1,000 feet of the tracks, and businesses anywhere near a crossing will be hurt. Allocating $1 million or more to stop the train is peanuts to save millions in future tax bills.


If that isn’t enough motivation to do something, how about saving lives? No freight rail system in the world shares its tracks with speed trains hurtling through towns at 110 mph.


Meanwhile, Florida East Coast rail will be carrying ethanol, liquid asphalt and liquid natural gas.

Imagine the nightmare if, like so many recently, one of these tanker trains derails in Fort Pierce with a high-speed train two minutes away.


How much is a life worth to the commissioners?


Taking money from a regular budget item of $200,000 for legal efforts seems to sum up the value they place on residents’ lives. Not joining forces with other counties to help support experienced train fighters is a waste of taxpayer dollars.


Or are commissioners just positioning their legal efforts for concessions from AAF once the train project happens, rather than committing to stop it now?


A united Treasure Coast with the money to back up its commitment is what will speak volumes to the hedge fund and potential bond investors, and will really stop a train. Tell the commissioners it’s time to get serious about saving lives.


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