To the Editor,
The powers to be are heavily promoting a high-speed rail system that slices through Ellis County departing Dallas and heading to Houston near I-45. That is the first of two that is planned to cut through Ellis County. The other will go from Dallas to Austin near I-35E. They will both be completely fenced and/or wall elevated to avoid any accident when traveling at 205 mph. Unfortunately, there will absolutely be no station/s or stops in Ellis County.
Imagine two partitions dividing the county into three sectors (like the Berlin Wall) separating Ellis County through farms, property, communities, school districts, etc., dividing people and land with limited crossings. Theyíre using eminent domain laws that could render numerous farms inoperable thus lowering their property value, including lost farm production that will ripple through the Ellis County economy. We were told the rail crossing heights over roads will conform to the TxDOT standards of 18 feet. Yet they could not guarantee that all roads will receive an overpass. Large farm equipment that is over 18 feet will have a problem. Then there are the emergency services, police, fire, and ambulance timely accessibility.
At the public meeting (that was lightly advertised) there were well over 200 people. During public comments every single speaker opposed the hghi-speed rail system for various reasons, including the negative economic impact on the county, property rights of farmers and ranchers, and more. Some of the speakers were elected officials, economic development advocates, business owners and private land owners.
Texas Concerned Citizens (TCC) spokesperson main issue was the economic development impact on Ellis County. TCC economic development experts have thoroughly reviewed this high-speed rail project for weeks and at this time with the public information thatís been disclosed they could only conclude that these two high-speed rails (as currently proposed will have a major Negative economic impact on Ellis County. But a positive one for Dallas and Houston, and those agencies, politicians and individuals who have a vested interested financially or politically. Will anyone please explain what positive benefit or impact this will have on Ellis County? One can fly from Love Field in less than an hour vice a two hour Hi-Speed train ride.
Ellis County is currently growing economically into its own identify and itís time Dallas and other government agencies begins a relationship of mutual respect vice the predominantly parental to child relationship that exists at times.
If a project of this magnitude does not benefit Ellis County, its businesses, jobs market, citizens, communities or our tax base, then opposition will only grow while proclaiming, where are the jobs, the passenger station/s, the economic advantage, the lack of transparency, property rights, and so much more.