Story by Lauren Hills/CBS12 News
DELRAY BEACH (CBS12) — When trains come rumbling through a community, things get a while lot louder.
“Quality of life for the noise factor is huge,” said Pamela Kennedy, Boynton Beach resident.
Kennedy says it can be tough to manage now, but under All Aboard Florida’s plan to have 32 passenger trains each day criss crossing from Miami to Orlando, it’ll be worse.
“You have to deal with trains and stopping traffic, it will be unbearable,” she said.
Another concern is the potential cost for cities. All Aboard is said to be a privately funded project, but the city of Delray Beach is worried money is and will come right out if taxpayers pockets.
Delray beach Commissioner Mitch Katz says All Aboard Florida reps told them the county will pay for things like quiet zones, pedestrian sidewalks, and safety devices that are needed surrounding the project. But to him, that’s still a problem.
“The county is still our tax dollars whether residents pay through city, they also pay thorough the county so it’s our county funding millions for a privately run project,” said Katz.
The city is now asking All Aboard Florida to fork over the money for any improvements, maintenance, or changes needed due to the project.
Katz says there’s no telling yet how much those things could potentially cost but he says the quiet zones alone will cost about a million dollars in Delray Beach alone.
Money he says neither the city or county can afford.
“If it’s part of their project, it should be part of their project,” he said. “They should build the quiet zones and pay for them and commit to long term sustaining of the improvements.”
In a statement, All Aboard Florida said, “Last year, All Aboard Florida announced a partnership with the Broward and Palm Beach MPOs to fund quiet zones between the city of Hallandale Beach and 15th Street in West Palm Beach. The majority of the cost to upgrade the crossings will be borne by All Aboard Florida. The partnership represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realize the benefit of quiet zones at the lowest possible cost, in the quickest possible time frame and with the easiest possible process.”