That cash would have compensated the city for the cost of planning the route through Fresno. But no votes from council members Clint Olivier and Andreas Borgeas kept the council from accepting the money. The council is expected to try again next week.
That decision comes just hours after the authority approved a 65-mile section running between Fresno and Merced.
The alignment roughly follows the existing Union Pacific freight rail-line. With Thursday day's approval, Fresno County supervisor Henry Perea believes property owners who are fighting the line can be appeased. "It allows the authority to now have its right of way agents go out and start the process of doing appraisals on the properties being affected and beginning negotiations with the property owners, so nine times out of ten you are going to find agreement between the seller and the buyer."
Construction on the line is set to begin between Fresno and Madera by the end of this year.