The TC Palm - Indian River County, Vero Beach officials to discuss responses to All Aboard Florida

Posted on November 18, 2014

By Janet Begley

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Both the Vero Beach City Council and the Indian River County Commission will consider action related to All Aboard Florida at their meetings Tuesday.

In Vero Beach, the council will consider adopting a resolution expressing its “unanimous opposition” to the All Aboard Florida passenger rail project. The resolution cites possible risks to public safety, increased noise, traffic and railroad vibrations and the lack of adequate and pertinent information in the draft environmental impact statement as reasons for its opposition.

Also included in the resolution are concerns the city may have to bear the maintenance costs of upgraded railroad crossings that will be required to allow All Aboard Florida to operate its trains, as well as the costs of maintaining any additional equipment and improvements to implement quiet zones.

At the County Commission meeting, County Attorney Dylan Reingold will ask commissioners to consider hiring an outside attorney for $25,000 who specializes in Florida law to study any state issues that arise from All Aboard Florida, including the validity of crossing agreements.

“Once those issues have been thoroughly explored and vetted, the Board will be in a better position to understand its rights and options going forward,” Reingold wrote in a memo.

The County Commission also will review the comments Reingold drafted in response to the Federal Railroad Administration’s federal report on possible All Aboard Florida impacts and vote to approve them for submittal to the FRA. In his comments, Reingold addresses several issues, including an unreasonable time frame for approvals, construction and traffic effects and the lack of consideration for alternatives to the high-speed passenger system.

The County Commission meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the commission chambers at the County Office Complex. The City Council meeting starts at 6 p.m. in City Hall in downtown Vero Beach.

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