Kings County is where construction on the high-speed train project is slated to begin, but officials in the rural county are steaming over the $99 billion transportation undertaking; consequently, the county is filing a lawsuit against the High Speed Rail Authority to halt the rail line from being built all together. According to the county’s argument, voter-approved state bond funds should not be spent on a project that has changed since 2008, and since voters have not had a say on those changes, the county believes funds should he withheld because the costs and scope of the project have grown greatly. The Fresno Bee reports:
“According to the suit, the authority's construction of the Valley portion of the rail line illegally uses Prop 1A bond funds for a non-electric, or conventional, rail line. The suit states that because the proposition called for an electric rail system, the use of proposition funds for a non-electric rail line -- even in the "preliminary" stage -- violates state law. Redwood City attorney Michael Brady, who is representing Kings County and co-plaintiffs John Tos and Aaron Fukuda, said the authority failed to seek approval from the Public Utilities Commission and federal agencies following the passage of Prop 1A.”
We relayed back in October that the Kings County Board of Supervisors called for a resolution that outright opposed the project’s route within the region and residents in the county had been concerned about the rail’s impact on farmland. The officials have been concerned about the designated pathways of the train but rail officials reportedly would not sit down with officials in public meetings because they disagreed with the county’s legal interpretation of a law that would require them to participate. Cities in the Peninsula region of the state have also raised objections about the project, which has delayed planning.
To read the lawsuit, see here.