Officials And Volunteers Talk To FRA – Will Meet With Governor’s Office

Charlestown Town Council President and Vice President Press Release

Officials and volunteers from the Town of Charlestown held a constructive conference call with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Friday, January 13, 2017.

On the conference call with the FRA were Charlestown officials, representatives from the Governor’s office, and staff from Rhode Island Division of Planning.

The FRA pledged to try to visit Charlestown the week of January 23, 2017. We will inform the public if that pledge is fulfilled.

The Charlestown team has made maps available to the FRA on the proposed route of straightened Amtrak tracks and the important issues to the residents of the Town of Charlestown.

The Charlestown team stressed the following points:

  • Impacted homes
  • Active and historical farms
  • Narragansett Tribal Land
  • 15 Open Space Properties with Conservation Easements in perpetuity, along with two Westerly Open Space properties
  • The Nature Conservancy’s Carter Preserve
  • Wild and Scenic Pawtucket River
  • United Nuclear Corporation and disturbing that potentially contaminated soil
  • Three historical districts which are also low/mod communities
  • The cloud of potential action that hangs over resident’s heads that the Bypass could proceed along the proposed straightened route that has reduced Connecticut property values by 25% already for the currently unfunded Bypass
  • The Connecticut Governor and Connecticut Congressional Delegation objection to the Bypass

While the Charlestown participants requested that the FRA drop the Old Saybrook to Kenyon Bypass, the FRA was unable to commit to removing the Bypass even though the Charlestown residents demanded the removal from the Tier 1 Final EIS.

The Charlestown team requested a 60 day comment period extension to April 1. 2017. The FRA declined that request. However, the FRA did stress the comment period ending January 31, 2017 was still open and Charlestown residents should send comments as soon as possible to:

The FRA stated that the final Record of Decision (ROD) would not be made until well after January 31, 2017, but comments are more powerful now before the Record of Decision.

The Charlestown team continues to request meetings with Governor Raimondo, Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse and Representative Langevin. Some progress has been made on this front as a face-to-face meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 18 with the Governor’s Chief of Staff Bret Smiley.

Virginia Lee, Charlestown Town Council President
Julie Carroccia, Charlestown Town Council Vice President

Virginia Lee
Virginia Lee, Town Council President
Julie Carroccia
Julie Carroccia, Town Council Vice President

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