By Toni DeRosa
Wasco Tribune 

Wasco mayor addresses High Speed Rail board on farm labor camp hazard


Last updated 2/16/2021 at 9:12am | View PDF

Mayor Alex Garcia pushed the High Speed Rail Authority Board on the topic of the farm labor camp hazard.

He delivered public comments at the board meeting Feb. 9 via Zoom.

“I will not apologize for past leadership. I will; however, be headstrong in our efforts to hold the HSR accountable for any and all adverse impacts the project has on the community they chose to build through,” Garcia said. “Our city has bent over backwards to accommodate the authority’s contractors every step of the way. We have to reconsider permitting further activity within the City of Wasco if our residents continue to be denied environmental justice.”

The meeting was held for the board of directors to consider the Authority’s Draft 2020 Business Plan, 2021 funding plans and the Finance & Audit Committee reports at the meeting.

Garcia reminded the board of directors of the damage and negative impact the project has brought upon Wasco. Garcia hopes that he can remind the board to do what is right by small, rural communities such as Wasco.

Research shows that the city will have to pay upward of $10 million to safely demolish the farm labor camp. The costs include hazmat cleaning, asbestos removal and demolition.

Public comments are not able to be acted upon and Garcia hopes that the HSR authority will put the issue on a future board agenda.


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