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California High Speed Rail Authority Gets Funding Break

The break really isn't that large—only an extra three month before the state must start paying for costs on July 1 (as opposed to April 1) to match federal funding, according to a new state funding contribution plan.

"California bullet train officials have been granted an extra three months to come up with funding to start meeting their obligations under a grant for the project, federal officials said Friday (Feb.21)," writes Ralph Vartabedian.

The additional time would presumably allow the Legislature to act on Gov. Jerry Brown's request for $250 million for the project, allocated from the state's fees on greenhouse gas emissions.

Vartabedian writes that California High-Speed Rail Authority chief Jeff Morales indicated in a Feb. 20 letter to the Federal Railroad Administration that "the funding plan reflects lower expenditure amounts, based on the slower pace of property acquisitions, utility relocations, a later start on construction and the outlook for the construction schedule."

Under its federal grants, the project must match federal money with state money....State officials say in the letter they have spent $95 million of state money against grant disbursements of $255 million. 

According to an email from The Fresno Bee's Tim Sheehan, the funding plan, while related to the budget plan, is a different document. Sheehan adds, "So far, the only work taking place is engineering/design; no construction (and the very big bills that will accompany it) yet."

Two additional recent develolpments on the projects to report, one good and one bad for the rail authority.

Full Story: Federal authorities give bullet train agency more time to raise cash

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