Martin County’s bill for AAF Fight Grows

from tcpalm.com

MARTIN COUNTY — The county so far has spent less than half of the $1.4 million dedicated for its fight against All Aboard Florida.

The County Commission on Tuesday voted to spend $67,646 of funds dedicated to fight the high-speed passenger railroad.

The largest chunk of the $67,646 OK’d Tuesday is $45,042 for outside legal counsel, McDermott Will & Emery and its primary outside attorney, Stephen Ryan.

The rest would cover costs associated with a rail safety study, with a study on boat counts and for costs associated with the review of the environmental impact statement, county records show.

“It’s an essential expenditure for us to try to minimize the negative impact of All Aboard Florida on our residents,” Commission Chairman Ed Fielding said after the meeting.

Martin County is not the only Treasure Coast government that has allocated millions of dollars to fight All Aboard Florida.

Indian River County has dedicated $2.7 million to try to block the $3 billion project. It expects to spend 30 percent of that money by Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

All Aboard Florida, a subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries, would connect Miami and Orlando, with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Service through the Treasure Coast is to begin by late 2017. Eventually, the service would run 16 round trips per day. There would be no stops along the Treasure Coast.

Last month, All Aboard Florida cleared a hurdle when it got the OK to borrow $1.75 billion for the project through tax-exempt bonds.

Staff reporter Lisa Broadt contributed to this report.

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/shaping-our-future/all-aboard-florida/martin-countys-bill-for-all-aboard-florida-fight-grows_89150315

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