Treasure Coast Essay
Mon August 4, 2014
St. Lucie Village vs. All Aboard Florida
If it comes to a fight between All Aboard Florida and St. Lucie Village, don’t bet against the village. The tiny municipality north of Fort Pierce has a history of taking on powerful interests and winning. St. Lucie Village – population 599 – is nestled between the Indian River Lagoon and U.S. 1. It is mostly residential. Running down the middle is a set of Florida East Coast Railway tracks. The railway would like to add two more sets of tracks to accommodate All Aboard Florida, an affiliate of the railway, which wants to operate a high-speed passenger service between Miami and Orlando. Sixteen trains in each direction every day. Village residents are against the triple tracks. At public meetings, they said they fear emergency services would not have easy access to homes east of the tracks. St. Lucie Village is the oldest continuously occupied place in St. Lucie County, dating back to the mid-1800s. But it was not incorporated until 1961 -- so that residents could prevent construction of a steel mill in their midst. In the 1990s, the village joined others to block a plan to expand the nearby St. Lucie International Airport. Any big Goliath about to face this little David should take note. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.