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10/15/2015 6:37 am  #1

New Renuart Larkin EUL Proposal!

Everyone is now aware of the effort by the Canaveral Port Authority to build a heavy cargo diesel freight train next to your community, though the Banana River section of the Indian River Lagoon, through our important wetlands and our Famous Merritt Island Wildlfie Refuge for their private profit.  If that wasn't enough they wanted to build one on the north side of the SR528, through both the Banana River and Indian River sections of the Lagoon, filling in 25 feet of the lagoon the full way accros both sections of the Lagoon so they could lay a pipeline for oil or jet fuel to OIA, putting our entire lagoon at risk for spillage contamination.  This route would take out many homes, businesses, the north shore of our lagoon and be the most expensive route of all at > $300 Million estimated!

Recalling that the Canaveral Port Authority has been operating on a line of credit for months, has already spent through their reserves and according to a county official has a larger debt service that the entire Brevard County Government, it is unclear how they propose to pay for this massive undertaking.   Oh yes, we remember...under the state legislators they are a taxing authority so they can just add an ad valorum tax to all residents from the north Brevard County line to the Pineda Causeway.

Another posssblity has been around, but we were not privy to it until we finally dug it out.  This Renuart-Larkin Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) proposal for a rail spur is not actually "new" but was not available to most of us who have been followong the travesty of a freight train in our midst.  Due to the extensive environmental damage and the safety issus for nearby homes, as well a the enornous cost quoted by the Port Canveral Authority developer-construction driven activity, the Renuart-Larkin (RL) Group proposed a different concept to the Air Force & Navy and recently to the CPA.  Evidently, they had attempted to bring it beore the CPA earlier, but were not invited.  It is a very interesting concept the originates a rail spur (different than a full blown railroad, as the CPA has been pushing), from the Navy property at the eastern side of the port and moves northward along the Air Force property.  Where there are buildings, operations and storage tanks, etc., that have been there decades the RL Group proposes to demolosh and rebuild them at a different location using sustainable techniques and with LEEDS cert, as well.  The spur woud cross the Banana River on the Phillips Causeway moving east to the NASA Causeway (approx 700 feet, rather than 2,000+ feet as with the other Port plan), and move west to hook up with the NASA track that is already there and has been renovated for this plan.  Security and operations would be by the MIltary personel and it would not come near homes, or other fragile areas, as it followied the causeway up and over the NASA tracks to the Jay-Jay- bridge and onto the mainlland.  As you may know, NASA has stated their rail speed limit on NASA property is up to 25 mph and rail may run only at night (4:30p to 6A) so as not to inconvenience the tourists.  I can send a draft PP to anyone intersted that has more info and maps.  

In my personal opinion I would like to see NO Freight Trains of any kind anywhere on our lovelly tropical island.  However, if it helps the Navy, AirForce and our military issues, this small spur appears to be the safest, most cost-effective and least damaging to the environment and property values compared to anything we have seen thus far.  Let us pray for common sense to reign.

Mary Hillberg
NMISAB, Seat 1
Past President of the NMIHOA
Native & Lifelong resident of Merritt Island


1/21/2017 9:55 pm  #2

Re: New Renuart Larkin EUL Proposal!

Definitely a better idea compared to that monstrosity that Walsh, et al wanted to cram down our throats!


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