First eminent domain high-speed rail claim OKed

Dec 13, 2013 1:21 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A state board has given approval for the California High-Speed Rail Authority to start the process of seizing its first property through eminent domain.

The State Public Works Board voted 3-0 Friday to approve a request from the authority to try to seize a 2.5 acre parcel in Fresno that is needed to start work on the $68 billion bullet train.

Fresno County records value the property at $2.4 million. It includes a 20,000 square-foot commercial building that is leased to the state.

Rail officials say they have been unable to reach an agreement with the owner, Frank Solomon Jr.

Friday's action allows the rail authority to file paperwork in court seeking to seize the property, but officials say are still open to negotiations.

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