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Council moves to quash Brightline rumor mill

The Brightline train station blurb is back on the city’s home page. That’s one way council moved to deflect rumors on Brightline/Virgin Trains’ proposed station downtown.

“Would it suffice to say we want accurate information out there,” Mayor Scott Singer worried at council’s workshop Monday.

“New Brightline/Virgin Train Station May Be Coming to Downtown Boca” popped back on the city’s landing page to give it more visibility. It was originally posted July 23.

There’s plenty of community support for a Brightline/Virgin Trains station here, said Councilwoman Monica Mayotte.

But he’s also hearing from people who live in nearby Library Commons and others not on board with the project, Singer said.

A letter from the Friends of the Public Library opposing Brightline’s plans for the Downtown Library’s parking lot was sent to city council on Aug. 16.

“We do not oppose the building of a station…but we oppose the giveaway and loss of the library parking lot that is heavily used,” it says. Friends president Cyndi Bloom intends to read the letter at tonight’s city council meeting.

A letter outlining the Friends’ position was emailed to bookstore customers and library patrons on Monday.

But any discussion is premature, council agreed.

“We don’t even know what we’re looking at yet. Rumors are going to fly,” said Councilwoman Andrea O’Rourke.

“We asked them to flesh out their proposal,” and do more community outreach, Singer added.

Still, council decided to be proactive.

O’Rourke proposed a special workshop. A suggestion to get the volunteer Financial Advisory Board involved got support.

“We don’t even have to time appoint an ad hoc committee,” said Councilman Andy Thomson.

Singer wants “Brightline to do the heavy lifting.”

The city won’t hear anything else in the next few weeks, city manager Leif Ahnell told council.

By Marci Shatzman

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