California High Speed Rail, Now Having Slow Delays - FOX 35 News Orlando

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

    Jesus Paces Himself With Wishes For Loving Parents

    Jesus Paces Himself With Wishes For Loving Parents

    Thursday, September 11 2014 1:00 AM EDT2014-09-11 05:00:09 GMT
    Llamas, and roosters and boars! Oh, my! This week on Wednesday's Child meet a sweet little boy named Jesus (2008) as he encounters the tamer side of the animal kingdom during a day at the Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita, California.
    Llamas, and roosters and boars! Oh, my! This week on Wednesday's Child meet a sweet little boy named Jesus (2008) as he encounters the tamer side of the animal kingdom during a day at the Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita, California.
  • Wednesday's Child

    Marqual Styles It Up For A Hopeful, Loving Family

    Marqual Styles It Up For A Hopeful, Loving Family

    Thursday, September 4 2014 1:00 AM EDT2014-09-04 05:00:13 GMT
    Meet Marqual (2000) – a well-mannered youth with an infectious smile – as we take a sneak peek at how he worked the room at Doris Bergman's 5th Annual Pre-Emmy Style Lounge Party at Fig Olive in West Hollywood.
    Meet Marqual (2000) – a well-mannered youth with an infectious smile – as we take a sneak peek at how he worked the room at Doris Bergman's 5th Annual Pre-Emmy Style Lounge Party at Fig Olive in West Hollywood.
  • Midday Sunday

    LA City Council Member Tom LaBonge

    LA City Council Member Tom LaBonge

    Sunday, August 31 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-08-31 16:00:21 GMT
    Today's guest is Tom LaBonge, the Los Angeles City Council member representing Council District 4.  Mr. LaBonge is a native Angeleno, born and raised in the Silver Lake District. 
    Today's guest is Tom LaBonge, the Los Angeles City Council member representing Council District 4.  Mr. LaBonge is a native Angeleno, born and raised in the Silver Lake District. 
  • Share ThisMore>>

  • myFOX Tech

    iPhone 6: Which Carrier Has The Best Plan For You?

    iPhone 6: Which Carrier Has The Best Plan For You?

    Friday, September 12 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-09-12 22:36:27 GMT
    With Apple having announced their latest and greatest iPhones this week, carriers have announced new plans and pricing to help you get your hands on a new iPhone. Whether you're staying with your current carrier     or switching, I'll lay it all out for you. 
    With Apple having announced their latest and greatest iPhones this week, carriers have announced new plans and pricing to help you get your hands on a new iPhone. Whether you're staying with your current carrier or switching, I'll lay it all out for you. 
  • myFOX Tech

    Samsung's Gear VR Makes Mobile Virtual Reality, Very Real

    Samsung's Gear VR Makes Mobile Virtual Reality, Very Real

    Friday, September 12 2014 12:40 PM EDT2014-09-12 16:40:08 GMT
    I had the chance to demo Samsung's Gear VR recently. It's a virtual reality headset powered by a smartphone. Don't let that fool you though. It's impressive!
    I had the chance to demo Samsung's Gear VR recently. It's a virtual reality headset powered by a smartphone. Don't let that fool you though. It's impressive!
  • Fire Damages Colossus, The Magic Mountain Roller Coaster

    Fire Damages Colossus, The Magic Mountain Roller Coaster

    [PHOTO GALLERY] A fire on the recently closed Colossus ride at Southern California's Magic Mountain park has collapsed part of the famous wooden roller coaster but there are no reports of injuries.
    [PHOTO GALLERY] A fire on the recently closed Colossus ride at Southern California's Magic Mountain park has collapsed part of the famous wooden roller coaster but there are no reports of injuries.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

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