Florida Politics: Martin, Indian River counties ask federal judge to stop Brightline’s bonds
Posted on July 19, 2018
By: Scott Powers, Florida Politics
Martin and Indian River counties and Citizens Against Rail Expansion Florida are asking a federal judge to vacate the federal approval that would allow All Aboard Florida to sell $1.15 billion in private activity bonds to finance the railway expansion to send higher-speed Brightline passenger trains between Souh Florida and Orlando.
In a federal case they filed last February in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the counties and CARE-FL filed a motion asking U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper for a summary judgment vacating approval of the bond sale. They charge that the U.S. Department of Transportation, “ignored or failed to consider the environmental, public safety, maritime, and environmental impacts the AAF rail project will have on Treasure Coast communities.”
The $1.15 billion in tax-exempt private activity bonds were souight by the company to finance the double-tracking and upgrades needed along the 128-mile stretch of existing railroad, owned by All Aboard Florida’s affiliate Florida East Coast Railway, running from West Palm Beach to Cocoa. The money also would be used to build a new 40-mile railroad from Cocoa to the Orlando International Airport…