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High-speed rail meeting planned for Monday

Posted: June 7, 2012 2:09 p.m.
Updated: June 7, 2012 2:09 p.m.

A special Santa Clarita City Council meeting is scheduled Monday for Santa Clarita Valley residents interested in learning more about the proposed high speed rail train - which would pass through the Sand Canyon area on its route between the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

The proposed bullet train would pass close to Sand Canyon schools and homes on its leg between Sylmar and Palmdale.
Last month, the California High Speed Rail Authority board approved the study of two routes through Sand Canyon, which has some residents upset.

The Santa Clarita North option would pass within 400 feet of Sulphur Springs Community School and Pinecrest School, run through the Evangelical Free Church of the Canyons and directly impact 23 homes.

Under the Santa Clarita South option, the train would follow existing Metrolink tracks more closely and pass within 200 feet of the church, within 400 feet of Sulphur Springs Community school and within 300 feet of Pinecrest School.

"The sound levels alone are a big threat to the quality of education (at the two schools)," said Michael Hogan, chairman of the recently formed Santa Clarita High Speed Rail Task Force and Sulphur Springs School District board member.

"(The train passing would be) 90 decibels - that's between a jackhammer and a rock drill," Hogan said. "That would disrupt classes - and then there's the safety of the students."

Although Hogan and other members of the task force are concerned about the impact of the train, they say they don't want to try to kill the proposal, but rather want it to run underground to reduce its effects.

"Our focus right now is to keep it underground through Santa Clarita," Hogan said.

The special City Council meeting Monday night will have council members in attendance, a staff report from Santa Clarita, a report by a member of the California High Speed Rail Authority staff and opportunity for public comment, said Mike Murphy, Santa Clarita's intergovernmental relations officer.

The cost of the bullet train, approved by voters in 2008, is currently estimated at $68 billion. As much as $4 billion in federal funds have already been set aside or spent as opposition to the plan mounts.

A movement is afoot to place an initiative to repeal the 2008 vote on the November ballot.

The meeting will be held at Sulphur Springs Community School Multipurpose room - 16628 Lost Canyon Road - starting at 6 p.m. Monday.





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