Canaveral Port Authority Chairman Urges Community To Await Outcome Of Federal Review
By Space Coast Daily // August 26, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Brevard County District 2 Commissioner Jim Barfield introduced a resolution on Tuesday opposing a cargo railway from the north side of the port over the Banana River, citing environmental issues and negative effects on North Merritt Island residential areas.
Brevard County Commissioners will consider the resolution during a Sept. 3 meeting at the Brevard County Government Center in Viera. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m.
In response to Commissioner Barfield’s resolution, Port Canaveral officials said that Commissioner Barfield’s resolution is premature and issued this statement:
As the Surface Transportation Board (STB) continues its extensive evaluation of the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Proposal, the Chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority is urging the community to await completion of the federally mandated process.
“It is quite surprising that County Commissioner Jim Barfield lacks basic understanding of our nation’s federally mandated rail process as evidenced by his introduction of a futile resolution that would have no impact upon the independent review which has to come to completion before any decisions are made related to routes,” said Jerry Allender, Chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority Commission.
“The resolution not only is misguided, but also premature and demonstrates a lack of experience and thoughtful leadership. I hope the more prudent county commissioners will act responsibly and wait for the federal, state and local agencies to conclude their work.”
The STB, the federal sponsor for the Port’s proposal, is considering a number of potential routes for the rail extension, including SR 528 as citizens have requested.
“Contrary to the Barfield’s resolution’s claims, the Port Authority is listening to community concerns, which have been shared at Port meetings, online, and via social and traditional media,” Allender said.
“As seasoned public servants, our Commission will not participate in premature debates on the merits of the various routes in consideration until the STB completes its works and makes its recommendations. This is the tried and true process for rail throughout our nation’s history. At the appropriate time in the process, Port Commissioners will weigh the recommendations and public input carefully and then consider this important decision on whether to proceed with rail.”