Volusia County, FL – In Thursday’s meeting, the Volusia County Council said it could opt out of an agreement with SunRail to bring a station to DeLand due to lack of federal funding.
In 2007 the County Council approved the SunRail commuter train with the understanding that it would eventually reach DeLand. Since then, the county hasn’t received the federal funding it expected for the project.
The early focus of Thursday’s discussion was about the Rail Commission taking over the funding of its operation early. Each council member said they were against this early transition to the SunRail.
The County Council then moved on to a conversation about changing the original SunRail agreement because the county hasn’t gotten the money they felt was promised for the DeLand extension.
“Not only was DeLand on there, but we were told that it was gonna be easier to get that train to Daytona,” said Councilmember Josh Wagner.
“We can not sit back and wait on an empty promise,” said County Manager Jim Dinneen. “We have to recognize reality.”
“We have an obligation to taxpayers in Volusia County,” said Councilmember Fred Lowry. “It’s not fair to them to be promised a certain amount, get 1/12th of that or about… and then expect to pay for a larger percentage. In a few years, F-DOT’s gonna be walking away from this, and I’m concerned where we’re gonna be left holding things.”
The council agreed to write a letter to send to the SunRail stating that Volusia County is no longer committed to funding the DeLand Station.
Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2016.