Am I the only one that thinks this smells fishy?

On December 10, 2007, The Free Lance–Star reported that Caroline County had received a $100,000 grant (hey, I found more money for a full-time Commonwealth’s Attorney!) from the Virginia Department of Transportation to “study building a passenger rail station in the Carmel Church area”. Further, The Free Lance–Star reported:

To join Virginia Railway Express, Caroline would have to become a member of a transportation commission and levy a 2 percent gas tax.

On December 26, 2007 President George Bush signed the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008“, which contains an earmark by the late Representative Jo Anne Davis in the amount of $490,000 for a “Commuter Rail Station at Carmel Church, VA”.

Now, I see this going down one of two ways:

  1. “Well, the study says we need VRE and what great timing since we have $490,000 from the federal government to pay for a rail station. Frankly, we don’t care what you [the citizens] have to say about the gas tax!”
  2. “The study says we don’t need VRE but we can’t turn this $490,000 down! I don’t care if you [the citizens] don’t like the gas tax or not! We are getting VRE!”

One current supervisor has stated: “I did not and will not support a gas tax.” Gut check time.

3 Comments

  1. Larry G says:

    you have an option 3.

    You take a BOS vote and tell the Feds .. hell no.. we don’t want no stinkin VRE station…

    what’s the problem?

    oh.. I see.. you’re not quite sure that sometime between now and hell freezing over that a VRE station might be a good thing but the timing is not good?

    ha ha ha ha

    :-)

  2. I love the VRE and used to ride it daily from Fredericksburg, but we must face the facts. VRE is a MONEY LOSER! The fares don’t even come close to covering the cost. And as for reducing congestion, the overwhelming majority of commuters still choose to drive. It only takes a quick look at the numbers in the Fredericksburg area to see this (VRE vs. slugging or driving solo).

    Don’t take the dirty money. $500,000 is chump change compared to the cost of operating the VRE. It wouldn’t even buy ONE of their new gallery cars.

    Why would some want us to dive into a sure money loser?

    Two words: PROPERTY VALUES!

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