Tempers flare during Kings County HSR meeting

KINGS COUNTY, Calif.

The high speed rail line is proposed to travel through several dairies and other properties in Kings County.

The high speed rail authority is holding a public meeting at the fairgrounds that begun around 5:00 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Earlier, Kings County residents and government officials became angry during a board of supervisors meeting with the rail authority. They thought they were going to get answers to questions they asked at the last meeting. Instead they were met with more questions, and that led to more frustration.

Doug Verboon said, "I didn't do that to be a smart alec. I just if you don't have any answers we have people here who have more questions and concerns."

More than one hundred people who packed the Kings County supervisors chambers Tuesday afternoon erupted in applause after an exchange between Supervisor Doug Verboon and Rail Authority Spokesman Jeff Abercrombie the supervisor wanted to know how construction of the high speed rail line would affect local agriculture, and road closures.

Abercrombie said, "The answers I have I don't expect you, or perhaps uh those that are gathered here will find them detailed enough in information."

Richard Fagundes said, "It's unfair to these people they have homes they have 3rd generation properties here they need answers."

Tim Niswander said, "The annual revenue loss to the Kings County economy would be more in the neighborhood of $100 million annually."

Supervisors are trying to convince the rail authority to run the train along Highway 99, and not through local farmland. The high speed rail authority said its waiting for the results of an environmental impact report next month. This was little consolation for Mary Jane Fagundes. Her home, along with 10 others in her neighborhood, are on the current rail path.

Fagundes said, "We're just frustrated on top of everything else we have five house payments left we're entering retirement that part of our life and we want to be debt free."

It's clear from the signs in her neighborhood, others feel the same way.

Unlike Tuesday afternoon's meeting, tonight's meeting is being put on by the rail authority.

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