Farmers up and down California's Central Valley are up in arms over the
state seizing their land to build its long-awaited high-speed railway and then failing to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars owed them for
Thanks to an order of possession by the Superior Court, California can
take private land through eminent domain for the troubled bullet train project. While landowners are expected to eventually be reimbursed for the property-- and for expenses like lost farming production, irrigation replacement projects and road construction-- many farmers in California's agricultural heartland say state officials have offered them a myriad of excuses as to why they haven't yet doled out the cash.
"I am out a quarter-million bucks on infrastructure, and they haven't paid
a dime for a year," John Diepersloot, a fruit farmer who cleared a large parcel of his peach orchard to make way for the train, told The Los
Angeles Times. "I don't have that kind of money."
"We understand the concerns of private property owners affected during the acquisition of their property by the California High-Speed Rail Authority
and construction of the High-Speed Rail system," Don Odell, the
authority's chief of real property, said in a statement to Fox News. "We strive to work closely with affected property owners to minimize the
impact the project has on them and to the ensure that they receive fair market value, consistent with state law, for their land and other expenses they incur due to the construction of the high-speed rail system."
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