Inside an open house bustling with about 100 property owners, employees of the California High-Speed Rail Authority attempted to answer questions and alleviate concerns of how valley farms, businesses, and homes could be affected or displaced by the state’s broad railway project.
A crew comprised of engineers and rail officials stood by stations Wednesday at Madera Community College, highlighting various pieces of the project — including how the rail authority will work with small businesses, the process of land acquisition, and maps of the rail’s planned route.
“Outreach is now and will continue to be a major emphasis for us,” said Jeffrey Morales, the rail authority’s CEO. “What we want to do is give people answers to help them understand what the situation is, what their opportunities are, and how things are being addressed.”
The outreach event, which Morales said would be the beginning of many, was designed specifically for the San Joaquin Valley where residents, notably farmers, have been among some of the rail’s most vocal critics...