Central Valley lawmakers are worried that their counterparts in Southern California intend to derail plans for a high speed rail maintenance hub here.
State Senator Jeff Denham , R-Merced, drafted a letter earlier this week to Quentin Kopp, chairman of the California High Speed Rail Authority. Eight other Valley politicians endorsed the letter, which was obtained by the Sun-Star on Thursday.
The letter said the Valley reps had heard from “several sources” that other legislators were expected to ask the Budget Conference Committee – the two-house committee charged with closing the state's budget gap – to include language in the final 2009-2010 budget that would bar any funds being used for a rail-system maintenance hub in the Central Valley
“We find this attempt at legislative interference unacceptable and ask that your board formally and immediately oppose such budget language,” the letter stated. “The location of the (hub) should be decided by your board based on factors such as what is the best use of tax dollars, what logistically makes sense for the system and where it is most practical to build a facility.”
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At an event in Merced in March, a project manager for the authority said the organization considered Castle Commerce Center its first choice for a major maintenance hub in the Central Valley.
Other maintenance sites are being considered near Chowchilla and Madera.
Reporter Danielle Gaines can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.