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SunRail [Phase 1 Completed]

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I plan on attending the meeting at Boone High School on June 9th I believe.  I'll double check.  If I see you there, i'll introduce myself!  Thanks for the info.

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I went to the meeting last night at Longwood and will also be at the one DeLand.

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Whatever else could be said about Crotty, he was the pointman for 20/20, which would have provided $400 million for rail, and he was very visibly disheartened when if was voted down.

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Orange poised to kill rail deal

Officials raise a raft of concerns about running a commuter line parallel to I-4.

By Scott Powers | Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted June 9, 2005

Orange County may kill a deal for a commuter train through Central Florida and turn down hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal grants, just as it did with a light-rail plan five years ago.

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Gee: I think I pointed out last week that everyone except Orange County was on board. Now this confirms it. If you live the County, call your commissioner and thell them that you don't appreciate their feet dragging.

PS: If you live in the City of Orlando, you live in Orange County, and thoeretically there is a commissioner that represents you.

Edited by Jaybee

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This is sickening. What a way to start the morning. Why does this man not get it??? He cannot be that clueless. It just seems he is hellbent on maintaining the status quo. HIs concerns are budget, which I'll admit are legitimate concerns. But these things arent going to get any cheaper the longer you wait. The state is willing to subsidize the operating costs for god sake! And Mica is right, at some point your credibility runs out - e.g. if you keep passing up federal money, you're not gonna get any more offers!! It is Crotty's job as "Mayor" to figure out a way to make it work because in the long run, it is undoubtedly in the best interest of the entire region. Instead, he bows in homage to that damn convention center every chance he gets.

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^ Well said! I DID point out last week my concern for Crotty killing this proposal...one encouraging thing to note in the article, Crotty & Co are merely concerned about the specifics. They're not TOTALLY ready to kill this deal. However, you're right how they always cave in to I-Drive/Convention Center interests. $44M seems a little paltry compared to the hundreds of millions in taxpayer money those idiots paid for that behemoth of a concrete cavern on I-Drive.

I didn't vote for Crotty in the last election and I will certainly not vote for him next time. As for my county commissioner, he's already received my email ranting about this!

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^ Well said! I DID point out last week my concern for Crotty killing this proposal...one encouraging thing to note in the article, Crotty & Co are merely concerned about the specifics. They're not TOTALLY ready to kill this deal. However, you're right how they always cave in to I-Drive/Convention Center interests. $44M seems a little paltry compared to the hundreds of millions in taxpayer money those idiots paid for that behemoth of a concrete cavern on I-Drive.

I didn't vote for Crotty in the last election and I will certainly not vote for him next time. As for my county commissioner, he's already received my email ranting about this!

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True, the notion that the county may kill the deal is the Sentinel's surmise.

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Truth of the matter is, unless the financing for the project and local committments are in place by August, you can kiss the project good-bye. And Orange County is the only one balking at this point.

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Truth of the matter is, unless the financing for the project and local committments are in place by August, you can kiss the project good-bye.  And Orange County is the only one balking at this point.

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Jaybee, please tell us more. Is Orange County baking, or simply proceeding with caution ? And will this require a tax increase, as Crotty apparently fears ?

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Like I said, if OC was to proceed with too much caution, it would kill the project if local financing committments were not in place by August.

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Like I said, if OC was to proceed with too much caution, it would kill the project if local financing committments were not in place by August.

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I get that much. What I'm trying to ascertain is whether Crotty is simply exercising responsible governance at this point. I myself wonder about the bang-bang nature of this proposal.

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I think they never anticipated that Commuter Rail would come to the forefront in Central Florida with a champion like Mica. I think that it would die that death and they would never have to worry about it.

Don't get the paper wrong, these are tactics to kill the project.

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I think they never anticipated that Commuter Rail would come to the forefront in Central Florida with a champion like Mica.
Edited by Dale

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I emailed Crotty and expressed my concern. We will see how that goes. I'm also going to the meeting tonight. Hope to see some of you there! 6pm, Boone High School.

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I get that much. What I'm trying to ascertain is whether Crotty is simply exercising responsible governance at this point. I myself wonder about the bang-bang nature of this proposal.

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I get what your saying, that Crotty is just governing responsibly by not just "jumping on board" no questions asked. I agree with you there. But are budgetary concerns the only litmus test for responsible governing? I find that it would be very difficult to argue, even for non-urbanists, that alternative modes of transportation are desperately needed in Central FL. We know what the situation is like now, and it is only going to compound in the future. So while I will agree with you that Crotty may be governing responsibly, his concerns are primarliy limited to the here-and-now. So if Orange County ultimately does kill this plan, and any form of rail project for the region is put off for another several years, is he not governing irresponsibly for the future?

And is the massive investment in the convention center responsible when according to all recent major studies of the subject, conventions and the like are on the decline, and will likely continue to be in the near future? And with cities all over the country building bigger and newer convention centers, the slice of the pie just gets smaller. I am not arguing that the convention center is useless. It obviously has a great effect on the local economy. But the investment in it is huge, and the returns are diminishing.

It's very frustrating to see the county (I'll stop singling out Crotty) so invested in that entity, yet down on another one that offers so many benefits to so many of us because the investment may be too great.

Edited by GRS328

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I get what your saying, that Crotty is just governing responsibly by not just "jumping on board" no questions asked.  I agree with you there.  But are budgetary concerns the only litmus test for responsible governing?  I find that it would be very difficult to argue, even for non-urbanists, that alternative modes of transportation are desperately needed in Central FL.  We know what the situation is like now, and it is only going to compound in the future.  So while I will agree with you that Crotty may be governing responsibly, his concerns are primarliy limited to the here-and-now.  So if Orange County ultimately does kill this plan, and any form of rail project for the region is put off for another several years, is he not governing irresponsibly for the future?   

And is the massive investment in the convention center responsible when according to all recent major studies of the subject, conventions and the like are on the decline, and will likely continue to be in the near future?  And with cities all over the country building bigger and newer convention centers, the slice of the pie just gets smaller.  I am not arguing that the convention center is useless.  It obviously has a great effect on the local economy.  But the investment in it is huge, and the returns are diminishing. 

It's very frustrating to see the county (I'll stop singling out Crotty) so invested in that entity, yet down on another one that offers so many benefits to so many of us because the investment may be too great.

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It does appear that, in the convention center, that the county has a ponderously heavy weight strapped to its back. And this is one of the reasons why, though commuter rail is appealing, the county may very sincerely concerned about how to muster additional funding. I think Jacobs is probably right in doubting that a tax increase of any sort will fly.

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anything interesting expressed at the meeting Wayne?

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Before the presentation, they had a very good display of maps lined up showing the entire corridor and lots of staff to answer questions. The presentation was fairly short and they would not let you ask questions in front of the group. You were told if you had questions to meet one of the staff members in the lobby. Most of what they spoke of was already on the CFRrail web site. I was interviewed by a reporter from Central Florida news 13 after the meeting and saw it on TV yesterday. Also got to speak briefly with a representative from Congressmen Mica's office. I told him I appreciate Mica's support for commuter rail but expressed my concerns for the impending Amtrak crisis. About 100 people were there. I get the impression that this project will go forward and that it has a lot of political support.

P.S. Have you joined the Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers yet? We are looking for new members who are active and it sounds like you are pretty knowledgable on this issue. You would not be the youngest member though. We have a member who is 19. We have a registration form on our web site.

Wayne

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Wayne -

Is the political support you say the project has enough to overcome a 'no' by Orange County ? I get the sense that it's all up to Orange county at this point, whether anyone likes it or not.

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I'll join.  :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That great!!

I just wanted to say I really put my foot in my mouth when I made that statement about political support!! I posted that before I saw the bad news about Orange County. We'll just have to keep the pressure on. Enjoy the meeting tonight.

Wayne

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Orange offers new rail-line deal

By Scott Powers and Jason Garcia | Sentinel Staff Writers

Posted June 10, 2005

A day after stepping back from Central Florida's proposed commuter train, Orange County is trying to leverage a new deal that would keep the train on track and cut the cost to local taxpayers.

Florida Department of Transportation officials now are considering using a new law and more state money to cut local taxpayers' share of the costs in half.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/...-home-headlines

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For 475 millions, cant they build lightrail instead? And why is it so expensive if we only use existing track? Isnt the high speed rail only cost 1 billion?

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Is CSX selling the tracks or will they be leased? If they're selling them, this will allow for freight trains to be relocated and possible double tracking through Orlando.

Considering Jax is paying $400 million for a 27 mile BRT system,

$475 million for a rail system stretching from Osceola to Volusia Counties is pretty cheap.

BTW, High Speed Rail from Tampa to Orlando was estimated to cost $2.7 billion.

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