Fresno vying for maintenance facility for High-Speed Rail

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Construction progress on the California High-Speed Rail is noticeable around the Valley. (KFSN)

Construction progress on the California High-Speed Rail is noticeable around the Valley. But a decision on where to locate the maintenance facility is drawing closer.

The city of Fresno is presenting a 200-acre parcel bordered by Cedar to the west, train tracks to the east, and American to the north as the ideal place to put a heavy maintenance facility. City leaders called the station the crown jewel of High-Speed Rail for the jobs it would create.

"That is anticipated to be 1,500 high-skilled workers at a state scale pay," said Larry Westerlund, Economic Development Director.

Fresno is competing with Kern and Madera Counties to land the facility.

The city council was asked to help acquire 15 properties within the footprint of the project.

"We know this is a game changer for Fresno. This, being awarded the heavy maintenance facility, puts Fresno in the position to become the center of the universe of High-Speed Rail in America," said Oliver Baines, Fresno City Council Member.

The council voted five to two to authorize negotiations for parcels and hold them for a year for an amount not exceeding $250,000.

Councilmembers Clint Olivier and Steve Brandau opposed the move which supporters say shows Fresno is best prepared for the facility.

"This is ours to win and conversely this is ours to lose," said Bruce Rudd, City Manager.

A decision on which city will be awarded the heavy maintenance facility is expected within six months.
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