Bakersfield may sue High Speed Rail.

Bakersfield may sue High Speed Rail.

The city of Bakersfield will ask city council members to vote on suing high speed rail at their next meeting.

The city of Bakersfield will ask city council members to vote on suing High Speed Rail at their next meeting.

The city says the High Speed Rail Authority is not following California Environmental Quality Act requirements and is keeping the city in the dark.

Opponents say if California's bullet train is built it could put city owned land, infrastructure, and taxpayer money at risk, along with private property lining the proposed routes.

But the city claims they have no clue to what extent because the Rail Authority is not being crystal clear, which is required by law.

Three options are on the table for California's high-speed rail route through Bakersfield.

And the city says it doesn't know how each route could affect the city and residents.

Bakersfield High School, the city's corporation yard, TRIP projects like the Centenial Corridor and even the West Side Parkway could be impacted and cost taxpayers millions of dollars to move infrastructure, city property and buildings.

"Clear cut communication from the High Speed Rail as to how they are going to mitigate that and financially compensate us. That is very clearly a serious problem for us." said Rhonda Smiley, Assistant to the City Manager.

We spoke with the High Speed Rail Authority Monday.

CEO Jeff Morales told us this:

"Our goal is to move in a positive direction with the City of Bakersfield, I had a constructive meeting with City Manager Tandy, and I pledged at that time that we would be more responsive to the city's concerns going forward."


But the city doesn't think the message has been heard.

So at the next Council meeting, city staff is recommending the Council pursue legal action.

"We don't think it is unreasonable to ask the authority to lay it on the line clearly for us. What the impacts are going to be and how they are going to compensate us. We have no real recourse other than to pursue legal action because this is a fiduciary responsibility to the operations of the city and our citizens," said Smiley.

The City of Bakersfield remains opposed to the High Speed Rail project's current plan.

The next city council meeting is Wednesday at Council Chambers on Truxtun Avenue, starting at 5:15 pm.

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