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Wednesday February 22, 2017
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The Great Train Station Debate

 

continued

And Hieftje says the city can't afford to wait. With the Obama administration committed to expanding high-speed rail, the feds already are paying for most of the current engineering and environmental study. Once that's done, the mayor says, "the city will go back for the rest." But, he adds, "it is logical to think that if the city were to say no to this funding, we will be stuck with the current station for decades to come."

Taylor recognizes that the station has opponents but dismisses them by paraphrasing Lincoln: "There are some people who are opposed to some things, some people who are opposed to other things, and some people who are opposed to everything." When the vote does come, he predicts, "it will pass, and by large numbers."

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Steve Kunselman isn't necessarily opposed to a new train station, but he sees no hurry and isn't sold on the Fuller site. "The MichCon site [across the tracks from the current station] has several features that make it more appropriate for a train station. It's already there, and some of the property is already owned by Amtrak. We could eminent-domain it and pay them fair market value, and, considering the site, we could probably get a pretty good deal.

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