(Orlando, Fla-- Mark Simpson, WMFE) Central Florida Republican Congressman John Mica says he's carefully reviewing Governor Rick Scott’s proposal to deepen the port of Miami to accommodate a new class of larger ships.
As chair of the House Transportation Committee, Mica is in charge of signing off on Federal dollars for the project. At a meeting in Orlando Monday, Mica made a point to compare that process with the Governor's review of Central Florida's planned commuter train.
Governor Rick Scott wants to spend $77 million of state money to dredge the Port of Miami, but total costs for the project are expected to be as high as $150 million.
Congressman John Mica's committee gets to decide whether to approve an additional $75 million in federal money that would make up the difference.
Mica didin't directly say he was linking that decision to the Governor's approval of the SunRail commuter train ... but he did bring up the similar timings for the two decisions, “ I get to authorize the project for the deepening at the federal level. Right now I’m studying them very closely as the Governor is studying the rail project very closely and I’ll make my decision next month in June about the time he makes his decision.”
Mica is referring to Governor Scott’s months long review of SunRail's financial viability.
That has put a lot of SunRail supporters, including Mica, on alert, especially after the Governor torpedoed Florida’s High Speed Rail hopes in February.
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