The Palm Beach Post – County to sue federal DOT over All Aboard Florida money
Posted on March 17, 2015
Indian River County Commissioners voted to pursue a potential lawsuit against the US Department of Transportation challenging $1.75 billion in private activity bonds approved for All Aboard Florida.
The DOT provisionally approved the tax exempt bonds for use in building the express passenger rail from Miami to Orlando. All Aboard Florida is awaiting a final approval from the Florida Development Finance Corp. to move forward with marketing the bonds.
All Aboard Florida hopes to use the bonds to replace or supplement a Federal Railroad Administration loan that is still pending approval.
All Aboard Florida officials said today they don’t comment on possible litigation.
DOT officials had no comment on the pending suit.
Brent Hanlon, treasurer of Citizens Against Rail Expansion, or CARE FL, one of All Aboard Florida’s most vocal critics, praised Indian River County commissioners this afternoon. Hanlon said CARE, which has pledged to file suit to block the rail project, will evaluate whether to join the litigation filed by Indian River County.
“CARE FL applauds Indian River County for taking this important legal step forward on behalf of its residents,” Hanlon said in a statement released by the group. “As you know CARE FL has clearly stated its intent to file a suit that will focus on a “shoddy” Federal environmental, health and safety draft report from the Federal Railroad Administration.
“We do hope St. Lucie and Martin Counties and other government entities will choose to join Indian River County and take bold steps in the right direction on behalf of the residents of all these impacted communities,” Hanlon continued. “We are going to evaluate joining the Indian River County suit, or bring additional related legal claims in the near future. ”