VIDEO: Port Authority Moves Forward To Work With Air Force On Proposed Rail Route
By Kathy Reakes // September 24, 2015
ABOVE VIDEO: Retired General Gene Renuart said his group would propose leasing up to 2,000 acres at the Canaveral Air Force Station.
Port Commissioners Vote 3-2 Against Dropping Proposed RouteThrough Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Following an outcry from the public and elected officials across the county, the Canaveral Port Authority voted earlier today to work with a private company specifically aimed at negotiating with the U.S. Air Force to run a controversial proposed rail system through federal property.
At the same time, Port Commissioners voted 3-2 against dropping a proposed route through the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and across the Banana River because of various environmental concerns.
Many residents have voiced concerns against the rail that would run near their neighborhoods and could possibly damage both the river and the refuge.
Disappointed residents who packed the Port Authority chambers weren’t surprised by the vote, but were encouraged by the push to work with the U.S. Air Force.
The partnership voted on today allows the Renuart Group, run by Retired General Gene Renuart, to explore ways to convince the U.S. Air Force to allow the rail to run through their property to Port Canaveral.
Renuart said his group would propose leasing up to 2,000 acres at the Canaveral Air Force Station. He pointed out that the proposal could draw other businesses to the area including office and industrial parks, in turn, bringing new jobs.
Port commissioners said the route would allow them to expand their cargo business to the mainland, potentially bringing in millions of dollars worth of business by attracting new shipping companies.
Port Authority Chairman Jerry Allender, who suggested pushing for the route, said the venture was “highly worth it.”
“We can’t succeed if we don’t try,” he added.
Renuart said his business would look for creative ways to expand the partnership between the U.S. Air Force and the Port.
“We know there are pluses and minuses, but not any that can’t be overcome,” he added.
The company has already been in discussions with the Air Force for more than two years regarding a possible agreement on the rail system.
The group will report back to the Authority during their October meeting.
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