Kings County high speed rail meeting overflows

FRESNO, Calif.

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There were so many people inside the meeting, that the county had an overflow room with extra seats. Many residents, left just as frustrated as when they arrived.

Like most siblings, Charlene Hook and her sisters stick by one another on most everything. And when it comes to their property, well, they're side by side in that battle too.

They came to the meeting with matching shirts and a sign, stating their opposition. And they weren't alone.

Dairy Farmer Joe Machado hired an engineer to survey his land and predict losses, should the rail cut through is property. He stands to lose millions. "When they say we're gonna make you whole that raises the hair on my neck and they don't know what's going to make me whole."

In fact, that is what was said inside the Kings County supervisors chambers.

High Speed Rail Authority Chair, Dan Richard said, "We don't intend to preside upon someone's land is impinged upon and somehow they're not fairly compensated."

Richard answered an outline of questions from the supervisors. Board members have been waiting to get those questions answered for more than a year. "I want to acknowledge that because it was wrong and I want to see where we can start from there."

Richard also said he doesn't have a lot of answers for Kings County, because the rail is still undergoing an environmental review.

The authority announced a "better, faster, and cheaper" project on Monday... lowering the price tag down to $68 billion and planning to have the first segment of track from Merced to the San Fernando Valley finished in ten years. It will likely cut right through Kings County. Leaving everyone here, on edge, waiting and hoping for answers.

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