10-0 vote: Eau Claire City Council supports high speed rail

The Eau Claire City Council has unanimously declared its support for the continuation of the development of high speed passenger rail in Wisconsin.

In a 10-0 vote, the Council urged the state, and Governor-elect Scott Walker, to go forward with plans to build the Madison extension of the Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha service. Council members noted that the line is an important next step to extending service to the Twin Cities, which Eau Claire hopes includes a routing via West Central Wisconsin.

Adopted last Tuesday, the resolution states:

“The City Council of the City of Eau Claire strongly endorses the continued efforts of the State of Wisconsin to work with all regions of the state to build a balanced transportation system that enhances mobility choices and strengthens the state’s global economic competitiveness.”

“The City Council strongly supports the continued development of a high speed passenger rail and integrated transportation network in Wisconsin, including the completion of a high speed passenger rail route from Milwaukee to St. Paul, and the completion of the engineering, environmental, and other essential impact analyses currently scheduled.”

“The City Council strongly supports the retention of the more than $800 million in federal funding support allocated to Wisconsin for the development of passenger rail and urges the State of Wisconsin to remain true to the approved plan for the investment of these funds in our state for the creation of jobs, economic growth and passenger rail.”

During the public hearing portion of the Council’s deliberations last Monday, Rail Coalition Co-Chair Scott Rogers was invited to give a presentation on the history and status of efforts to secure passenger rail service for Eau Claire. Several citizens also spoke up in support of the resolution, which was sponsored by Council Members Jackie Pavelski and Dana Wachs. Click here for the full text.

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