California High Speed Rail, Now Having Slow Delays - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

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>>

  • Wednesday's Child

    Eric Looks To A Safe Landing In A Forever Home

    Eric Looks To A Safe Landing In A Forever Home

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:00 AM EDT2014-07-31 05:00:11 GMT
    It’s not every day one gets to interact with a living legend, but this week’s Wednesday’s Child, Eric (1998), recently got such an opportunity!
    It’s not every day one gets to interact with a living legend, but this week’s Wednesday’s Child, Eric (1998), recently got such an opportunity!
  • Midday Sunday With Tony Valdez

    Buddhism: Part of the American Cultural Landscape

    Buddhism: Part of the American Cultural Landscape

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:05 PM EDT2014-07-28 20:05:50 GMT
    Of all the world's religions, Buddhism is one of the most mysterious and most intriguing to many Americans. The books The Dharma Bums, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and even If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!, are all examples of how Buddhist concepts are part of the American cultural landscape.
    Of all the world's religions, Buddhism is one of the most mysterious and most intriguing to many Americans. The books The Dharma Bums, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and even If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!, are all examples of how Buddhist concepts are part of the American cultural landscape.
  • Wednesday's Child

    Chelsey, Airess & Shayna: Hopes Of Summer Fun In A Forever Home

    Chelsey, Airess & Shayna: Hopes Of Summer Fun In A Forever Home

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:00 AM EDT2014-07-24 05:00:17 GMT
    For another glance of summertime fun, peer in as we spend some time at Pelican Pier in Long Beach with three pretty little girls! As they go around on the merry-go-round, you may start to think you’re seeing double … but you’re not. Chelsey and Airess (2010) are twins and came dressed alike in pink while younger sister Shayna (2012) came dressed for comfort in baby blue.
    For another glance of summertime fun, peer in as we spend some time at Pelican Pier in Long Beach with three pretty little girls! As they go around on the merry-go-round, you may start to think you’re seeing double … but you’re not. Chelsey and Airess (2010) are twins and came dressed alike in pink while younger sister Shayna (2012) came dressed for comfort in baby blue.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

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