Congresswoman Boebert talks water, backs San Luis Valley Central Railroad grant

Photo by Marie Mccolm U.S. Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-District 3) visited the San Luis Valley Central Railroad Company in Monte Vista on Feb. 22.

MONTE VISTA — U.S. Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-District 3) visited the San Luis Valley Central Railroad Company in Monte Vista on Feb. 22.

Boebert is up for reelection this year and has been campaigning in the state. She stopped in Monte Vista to show her support for the San Luis Valley Central Railroad Company and its grant application.

In an interview with Valley Publishing, she made it clear she was against exporting water out of the San Luis Valley and had attended a water conservancy meeting earlier in Hudson Valley.

“Water is precious, more precious than gold,” Boerbert said. “I wanted to come out strongly opposing this water grab. It’s really insulting and offensive that folks on the front range are wanting to do this. You have the front range who is very wealthy, and they come over to the San Luis Valley and they say well, we have wealth, and we have finances, we need your resources. You are not as wealthy as we are, so in other words, you are poor and we want your water. That is very insulting.” 

A plan that would make available 22,000-acre feet of water per year for export from the northern SLV to Douglas County is being discussed in Douglas.

Boebert is against this plan and feels strongly for the citizens that this would affect, including farmers and ranchers.

“I back our farmers and our ranchers in all of this,” Boebert said, “and I want to protect the Valley from this pull.” 

Boebert made a stop at the San Luis Valley Central Railroad and was excited to meet members of the railroad and ride the train.

Boebert wrote a letter in strong support of the San Luis Central Railroad Company’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) competitive grant application.

Rep. Boebert said, “A CRISI grant will help the San Luis Central Railroad Company fund important infrastructure improvements necessary to reduce the risk of derailment, decrease maintenance costs, and increase overall efficiency. The railroad provides critical services for the San Luis Valley’s agriculture-based economy and agriculture is the lifeblood of the San Luis Valley. I am proud to stand with the San Luis Valley Central Railroad, the farmers and ranchers who depend on it, and with southern Colorado’s agricultural community.”

The San Luis Central Railroad applied for a competitive grant from the Department of Transportation’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program. The San Luis Central Railroad will use the grant to replace 5.1 miles of cross and switch ties to improve safety and reduce the risk of derailment.

CRISI grants are public-private partnerships that require a 25% private matching investment. The San Luis Central Railroad has substantial local support and will provide a $375,000 private sector match if awarded this grant.

The San Luis Central Railroad has been serving the San Luis Valley for 109 years of continuous service. The San Luis Central Railroad is integral to the San Luis Valley’s nearly $1 billion agricultural economy that supports 28.3% of local jobs. In 2017, the railroad transported upwards of 75 million pounds of potatoes and 82 million pounds of grain.

For more information on Rep. Boebert, visit online boebert.house.gov.

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