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New York State will receive over $700-million from the federal government to develop high-speed rail. But not a cent of those dollars will be apportioned for Genesee County, or surrounding counties.

Senator Chuck Schumer’s office today announced the federal payout. The windfall comes after the state of Florida turned down $2.4-billion of federal money for high-speed rail. Florida Governor Rick Scott had said that high-speed rail would cost taxpayers too much, even with the federal grant.

The government divided up that sum and spread it between several other states. New York received by far the biggest portion of that funding. In a statement today, Senator Chuck Schumer says: “We need this critical funding, and if other states don’t want it, we’ll gladly take it.”

Nearly all of the money is being used to simply clean up the current rail system in New York City. Another $60-million goes to Albany and Schenectady; $1.4-million will go towards construction of a new train station in Rochester.

In January 2010, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter announced $151-million in federal funding to build an 11-mile stretch of track from Byron to Riga. Since then, the track has not been built, and no further funding has been reported for that project.

Neither the offices of Senator Schumer or Congresswoman Slaughter returned our phone calls today.

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