St. Lucie County Commission passes resolution opposing All Aboard Florida

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - In a 5-0 vote Tuesday, the St. Lucie County Commission became the latest municipality to go on record opposing All Aboard Florida.

The resolution calls the $2.25 billion high-speed passenger train “a threat to the public health, safety and welfare.”

All Aboard Florida plans to run 16 daily round trips between Miami and Orlando — along the existing Florida East Coast Railway corridor through the heart of the Treasure Coast — and the twice-hourly road blockages would hinder emergency-service providers from making timely responses on either side of the tracks, according to the resolution.

Commission Chairwoman Frannie Hutchinson said her opposition to the project has nothing to do with no stop planned for the county or any where on the Treasure Coast.

“The stop and the public safety are two separate things,” she said. “All Aboard Florida officials would have to address the public safety aspect first before I could every support the project.”

Commission Vice-Chair Paula Lewis said she thinks All Aboard Florida’s 16 trains making two trips through residential areas is too intense.

“This is not regular rail service, the freight service we’re used to seeing,” Lewis said. “I think the location of the railroad track is inappropriate for what is being proposed.”

About a dozen residents attended the half-hour Tuesday meeting. One resident lightly applauded after the resolution was passed.

At least four Treasure Coast cities, as well as the Martin County commissioners, have passed resolutions opposing All Aboard Florida.

Indian River County commissioners, who in May 2013 signed a letter of support for the project, rescinded their backing a year later, but have not formally gone on record against it.

The county also passed in a 5-0 vote a second resolution asking the public comment period on the Federal Railroad Administration’s upcoming draft Environmental Impact Statement be extended from 45 days to 90 days.

However, the federal agency in May already extended it from 45 to 75 days, and last week, it rejected Gov. Rick Scott’s request for a second extension to 90 days.

The Environmental Impact Statement, which is expected to address many of the issues raised by Treasure Coast residents and governments, likely will be released within two months, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

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