Friday, December 5, 2008

LETTER: TRRAAC response to $10 million State check

"This announcement [of Governor Rendell delivering a $10 million check for rail road yard relocation] is a slap in the face to the taxpayers of the Commonwealth. Despite local opposition to the relocation of the rail yard into residential neighborhoods, and with virtually no public notice or opportunity to participate in the process, the Governor unilaterally has committed millions of dollars to support the rail yard relocation to enable Franklin and Marshall to move its athletic fields.

"Meanwhile, bridges are in disrepair, our highways need critical maintenance, state workers are foregoing raises, state colleges are facing significant mid year cutbacks and an across the board cut in the state budget looms, as well as likely massive tax and fee increases next year. Despite all this, the Govenor is providing $10 million for this ill-conceived boondoggle.

"All we at TRRAAC have requested from the start is an INDEPENDENT analysis of potential alternative locations for the relocation of the Dillerville rail yard. Instead, the funding process has been shrouded in secrecy and mystery. Repeated requests from TRRAAC were denied for the release of public documentation of the application and criteria for prioritizing the funding of this project over other more critical transportation needs.

"We are dismayed at the complete absence of transparency and the failure to provide the affected community with the opportunity to participate in decisions that impact our property values and quality of life."