Rail project on verge of being derailed?

November 8, 2011  |  No Comments  |  by Barney Bishop  |  News

CF News 13 – June 21, 2011

TALLAHASSEE — On the heels of killing high-speed rail, Gov. Scott is taking aim at another train: SunRail.

Scott has a big decision to make about SunRail and its ultimate effect on Polk County.

SunRail is a planned 61-mile commuter line between Daytona Beach and Orlando.

 Lawmakers have already committed to spending more than $400 million to buy the track from the railroad company CSX.

But, Scott has put the project on hold.

“I want to make sure the community understands the fact that this money’s coming out of their allocation out of the Florida Department of Transportation, and then, finally, making sure I understand what I can and can’t do,” Scott said.

The governor said he’ll make a decision by the end of next week.

He’s heard plenty of opposition from his tea party base.

Corporate leaders want the governor to realize the spinoff businesses the project could create.

“If you look at Florida on the map, we’re halfway between Canada and South America. We are the perfect logistical transportation headquarters for the western hemisphere, so in doing SunRail, we have the opportunity to really make that happen,” said Barney Bishop, Associated Industries of Florida.

Privately, some SunRail supporters say if the governor does decide against the project, they’ll consider suing. They say Scott has no authority to kill SunRail because the money’s already been allocated and the contracts have already been signed.

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