California High Speed Rail, Now Having Slow Delays - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

California High Speed Rail, Now Having Slow Delays

Posted: Updated:
Los Angeles, CA -

Two Republican lawmakers from the Central Valley want the state auditor to review the California High-Speed Rail Authority's moves to buy up land for the $68 billion project.

Assemblymen Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, and Frank Bigelow, R-O'Neals, submitted a request Tuesday to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee seeking an investigation into the appraisal process, assessment of land values and the role of private contractors as the rail authority seeks to acquire or seize 356 parcels for the first leg in the Central Valley.

The lawmakers say they want to ensure the rail authority has policies that allow landowners to appeal the property values assessed to their land and "what safeguards are in place to ensure fair and reasonable offers."

"Our valley's farmland and citizen-owned private property can't be replaced, so we have to make sure we get it right the first time because there is no going back," Bigelow said in a news release.

The authority has begun making offers to dozens of landowners in the Central Valley as it seeks to start work on the first 30-mile leg of the project, likely this fall. Officials expect to sign a contract this month with a joint venture hired to design and build the line from Madera to Fresno, the first step toward starting construction.

Chief executive Jeff Morales has previously said high-speed rail officials are following the same procedure used by the state Department of Transportation to acquire land, including allowing landowners to obtain alternate appraisals at the state's expense before filing an appeal.

"The process is intended to make sure that the property owner is treated fairly and strike the right balance between treating the property owner fairly and making sure that the public taxpayer is not overpaying for property," Morales told The Associated Press in July.

The authority has also hired a private firm to help homeowners and businesses relocate.

The audit committee is dominated by Democratic lawmakers, most of whom support the high-speed rail project. Even if the audit is approved, it would likely take many months to complete, pushing the results past the start of construction.

High-speed rail officials are also awaiting the outcome of a lawsuit in Sacramento County Superior Court over spending from the 2008 ballot measure in which voters approved $10 billion in borrowing for the project.

Bigelow previously supported the project as a Madera County supervisor, but has since turned against it.

  • FeaturesMore>>

  • Gina's People

    Cycling For Clean Water

    Cycling For Clean Water

    Monday, April 14 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-04-14 22:50:39 GMT
    This week in Gina's People, we recognize five students from Azusa Pacific University on a cycling mission to bring clean water to people in developing countries.
    This week in Gina's People, we recognize five students from Azusa Pacific University on a cycling mission to bring clean water to people in developing countries.
  • Midday Sunday With Tony Valdez

    Ruben Salazar - Man In The Middle

    Ruben Salazar - Man In The Middle

    Sunday, April 13 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-04-13 16:00:10 GMT
    Award winning documentary film maker Phillip Rodriguez visits Midday Sunday today to talk about his latest film "Ruben Salazar: Man In The Middle."
    Award winning documentary film maker Phillip Rodriguez visits Midday Sunday today to talk about his latest film "Ruben Salazar: Man In The Middle."
  • Wednesday's Child

    Jessica Hopes To Paint A Forever Picture With A New Family

    Jessica Hopes To Paint A Forever Picture With A New Family

    Friday, April 11 2014 12:49 PM EDT2014-04-11 16:49:47 GMT
    With spring in the air, it's a good time for a little self-care. Jessica is an active girl with diverse interests. She's artistic, athletic and a very good student.
    With spring in the air, it's a good time for a little self-care. Jessica is an active girl with diverse interests. She's artistic, athletic and a very good student.
  • Share ThisMore>>

  • myFOX Tech

    Early Preview: Microsoft Windows Phone's Cortana

    Early Preview: Microsoft Windows Phone's Cortana

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:34:11 GMT
    Move over Google Now and Siri, there's a new gal in town and she's pretty classy! I take an early look at Microsoft's new smartphone personal digital assistant, Cortana.
    Move over Google Now and Siri, there's a new gal in town and she's pretty classy! I take an early look at Microsoft's new smartphone personal digital assistant, Cortana.
  • myFOX Tech

    Tired, Sore Eyes? Enter: Gunnar Optiks Intercept

    Tired, Sore Eyes? Enter: Gunnar Optiks Intercept

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-04-15 15:22:42 GMT
    I met the folks from Gunnar Optiks at CES this year and they had something new to show me. The Intercepts. I have a big head, these are big frames, it was kismet but do they work as good as they look? We'll see.
    I met the folks from Gunnar Optiks at CES this year and they had something new to show me. The Intercepts. I have a big head, these are big frames, it was kismet but would my eyes revel in this serendipitous confluence of events? We'll see.
  • Sure, Cats Make Messes, But At Least Willie Cleans Up After Himself

    Sure, Cats Make Messes, But At least Willie Cleans Up After Himself

    Thursday, April 10 2014 12:05 AM EDT2014-04-10 04:05:18 GMT
    How about a little lesson on conservation from Willie the Cat. Willie starts unrolling all of the paper until it is all on the floor. But you have to watch what happens next in this viral video.
    How about a little lesson on conservation from Willie the Cat. Willie starts unrolling all of the paper until it is all on the floor. But you have to watch what happens next in this viral video.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices