Plan unveiled for regional rail system from Charlotte to Mooresville

Plan unveiled for regional rail system from Charlotte to Mooresville

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by GREG ARGOS / NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 13 at 2:59 PM

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- The Red Line Regional Rail Project Task Force unveiled their plan for a rail system that would run from Charlotte to Mooresville Tuesday.

The $452 million dollar project is still not a done deal. Communities where the line would run through must still give the green light before construction can begin.

The Red Line would run from the Charlotte Gateway Station in uptown to Mount Mourne in Mooresville, and it would make stops in Huntersville and Cornelius.

Half of the funding would be provided by the state and CATS. The other half would have to be funded through what's called "value capturing." Basically, "income producing" businesses like restaurants and shops within a specific area surrounding the proposed rail system would have to agree to fund special assessments.

"[The rail line] stimulates unique and extraordinary investment," explained North Carolina Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary for Transit Paul Morris.

"It's the catalyst for activity that would likewise not happen here. And because of that, the developers and businesses who benefit from it want to participate in seeing it come."

Davidson Mayor John Woods, who is also the chair of the Red Line Task Force says homeowners will not see property tax increases because of the rail line.

"This project does not lead to an increase to your or my property taxes. It comes from the incremental, additional development that occurs in a specific area along the rail corridor that will occur because of the development of the rail line itself," he said.

The plan will have to be vetted and approved by all the communities in which the rail passes through. If it is, and funding is secured and approved, construction would begin by 2014. Service is expected to begin by 2017.

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