June 11, 2019

THE DESIRE NAMED STREETCAR: California’s High-speed rail route took land from farmers. The money they’re owed hasn’t arrived:

Up and down the San Joaquin Valley, farmers have similar stories. The state can take land with a so-called order of possession by the Superior Court while it haggles over the price.

But farmers often face out-of-pocket costs for lost production, road replacement, repositioning of irrigation systems and other expenses, which the state agrees to pay before the final settlement.

Those payments and even some payments for land have stretched out to three years. State officials have offered endless excuses for not paying, the farmers say.

Exit quote: “‘They are bogged down,’ said Mark Wasser, an eminent domain attorney in Sacramento who has represented more than 70 farmers and other businesses losing land to the rail project. ‘I would draw an analogy to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia.’”

Earlier: How California’s troubled high-speed rail project was ‘captured’ by costly consultants.

(Classical reference in headline.)

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