Friday, November 07, 2008
EASTON A second vote on funding a passenger rail study was the charm as Northampton County council approved $75,000 Thursday for it.
The resolution passed 5-3, with council members Ron Angle, John Cusick and Peg Ferraro voting against it.
Paul Marin, a member of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation's transportation committee, wants to include the Lehigh Valley in a New Jersey transit study considering a train connection from the area to New York City.
The study will cost about $250,000 and Marin has asked Northampton and Lehigh counties to kick in $75,000 each.
Northampton County's resolution failed at the Oct. 16 meeting for lack of a majority vote, but the funding was still listed in the county's 2009 budget.
Councilman Michael Dowd re-introduced the measure.
Dowd said if significant federal funding becomes available for rail "the Valley ought to be in a position to take advantage of that."
Ferraro said she wanted to wait a few months before spending the money to see if the county was in good financial shape.
"I feel very uncomfortable spending any money until our own house is in order," Ferraro said.
The approval came with the caveat that the county will not release the funding unless the other entities involved approve their funding.
LVEDC officials have already approved a contribution of $100,000.