CHOWCHILLA CITY COUNCIL WANTS TO HEAR FROM RESIDENTS ON HIGH-SPEED RAIL

CHOWCHILLA CITY COUNCIL WANTS TO HEAR FROM RESIDENTS ON HIGH-SPEED RAIL

Community meetings to be held September 3 and 10

It is well recognized that high-speed rail will make an impact on the Chowchilla community. At two meetings in early September the Chowchilla City Council wants to hear from the citizens on principally two topics so the City can prepare a response to the High-Speed Rail Authority by early November.

The first meeting will be at 7:00pm on Thursday, September 3 at the Chowchilla Union High School in the teachers training center. It is recommended that attendees park on the south side of the school near the tennis courts and enter the school campus through the south entrance to get to the meeting site.

The second meeting will be on Thursday, September 10, also at 7:00pm, at Reagan Elementary on the east side of Highway 99 north of Robertson Boulevard. This meeting will be held in the school multi-purpose center on the east side of the campus.

Three track routes have been proposed that will affect Chowchilla – one to the south of the community, one along the east side and one along the west side. The City Council wants to hear from the residents as to their opinions of which of the routes is perceived as the least objectionable. The meetings are not intended to debate whether or not high-speed rail is wanted as the inevitably of that decision lies beyond the scope and influence of the City Council. Rather, the council wants to make sure that the Chowchilla community is heard as to which option will have the least impact to the majority of the residents and officially present that preference to the HSR Authority. The council recognizes they have a say as to how Chowchilla can continue to thrive as a community with the construction of a rail system. The council would prefer to not leave such decisions entirely up to the HSR Authority which could make a decision without input and direction from the community itself.

In addition, if a high-speed rail route is going to come to Chowchilla the City Council wants to develop a list of acceptable mitigation remedies the City can push to receive from the HSR Authority as the final route is developed. A variety of ideas are being considered and this is the chance for the community to jointly offer additional ideas and come together to support some worthwhile opportunities to improve Chowchilla. The goal is to try and minimize the negative impacts with some positive give-backs to the community from the rail project.

The Chowchilla City Council fully recognizes that high-speed rail is a very emotional issue that could dramatically impact the entire community. However, these meetings are intended to gather a list of projects that could ultimately benefit Chowchilla. It is extremely important that the residents offer their opinions and suggestions so that a final report can be submitted to the High-Speed Rail Authority, and that provides the City of Chowchilla with a “seat at the table” and a chance to solidly develop a negotiating position to influence the final routing decision. To reach that point requires the residents to participate in making decisions for what could guide our future to further develop as a livable and desirable community in the Central Valley.

Please plan to attend one or both of these very important meetings and let your voice be heard.

http://ci.chowchilla.ca.us/

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