Letter: Cost of not fighting All Aboard Florida is astronomical

Posted on March 8, 2016

Phyllis Frey, Vero Beach

Rich Campbell's column, "All Aboard a Cancer? Only on Taxpayers' Pocketbooks," suggests that We the People should roll over and allow the All Aboard Florida atrocity to have its way with us. Campbell should note that great strides have been made in stem cell research. He should grow a spine and accept that Treasure Coast lives matter.

AAF's effect on real estate values: Statistical research from FAU and the Martin County appraiser's office shows the projected devaluation of 1,400 homes and businesses that lie within 1,000 feet of the rail corridor. In SLC, this represents 1,539 properties or $300 million in real estate that will lose $77 million from ad valorem tax rolls. In Palm Beach County, there are 170,000 properties that fall into the devaluation category.

RE/MAX is now mandating that sellers disclose the negative impact of AAF/Brightline on livability and value in accordance with NAR's code of ethics. This ripple effect also extends to high-end waterfront real estate.

Safety costs: Consider the risk of transporting passengers at 110 mph only a few feet away from FEC's freight transportation of explosive HAZMAT including anhydrous ammonium nitrate, sulfuric acid, chlorine gas, propane, ethanol and soon, liquid natural gas through the middle of our small towns. When bomb trains derail, they explode into fireballs, spill their contents, set neighborhoods on fire, pollute the waterways and ignite fires that burn for days. The costs to human lives, the environment and property are astronomical.

Legal: AAF is in violation of state and federal laws. Legal action is supported by 75 percent of the TC populace. The cost is less than 1 percent of our annual IRC budget or $45 per person. We must invest now in order to save millions in the future.

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