Thursday, October 13, 2005

Rebuilding Mississippi

I am appalled the relocate-the-tracks crowd continues to use Hurricane Katrina to push their agenda. Apparently they do not care that people’s homes, homes that withstood the wrath of Katrina, would be destroyed in the process.

The presence of endangered species in the area of Latimer makes relocating the tracks to our area environmentally unsound (see Red Cockaded Woodpecker, Non-Migrating Mississippi Sandhill Crane, Gofer Tortoise, and Quill Wart Grass).

Perhaps you are unaware that there is a petition with a 1,000 signatures on it objecting to having the railroad relocated North of Interstate 10. Jackson County is opposed to relocating the railroad, as are the Ocean Springs aldermen. The government study http://www.makingtracks.org/, which was funded in 2000 and halted in 2003, came to the conclusion there was nowhere North of Interstate 10 suitable for relocating the tracks. Senator Trent Lott has said publicly that he opposes relocating the tracks any further North than Interstate 10, and that the cost (an estimated $2.2 billion) for such relocation, was cost prohibitive and he could NOT SUPPORT SUCH A COST TO TAXPAYERS!

The residents of Latimer have offered help to the Coastal communities that were destroyed by Katrina’s storm surge; we do not deserve to be repaid by having our homes destroyed by the relocate-the-tracks crowd--homes that for the most part survived Hurricane Katrina with minimal damage. Rather then allowing MDOT to take peoples homes away from them by eminent domain, I suggest the railroad build overpasses or elevated tracks at their current location.

Many people live North of Interstate 10, and would be adversely impacted by relocating the railroad to their communities. Communities we moved to because we wanted to enjoy the peace of the countryside.

There is NO REASON that will justify demolishing peoples homes and destroying the peace of our countryside, just to relocate the railroad tracks.

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