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Napa Train funding ‘wasteful’: senators

American senators are claiming government funding for the Napa Valley Wine Train would be ‘wasteful and silly’

In a recent report co-authored by former Republican presidential candidate senator John McCain, and senator Tom Coburn, a $54m government award to relocate Napa Valley Wine Train tracks was 11th on a list of 100 ‘wasteful or silly’ projects receiving government funds to recharge US economic growth.

Melodie Hilton, a spokeswoman for the train which serves tourists US$100 lunches along its 36-mile route through the Napa vineyards, said that the senators were wrong to target it.

The funding is part of an older project to fight Napa River flooding into the Napa Valley, she said.

‘The Napa River Napa Valley Flood Protection Project began in 2000 to fight Napa Valley flooding,’ she told decanter.com.

‘Our train travels through one of five bridges which are being raised to prevent them from being clogged by rising waters.’

Project spokesman Barry Martin said the project will cost $400m, and that federal government stimulus money amounts to $99m, with $54m towards relocating train tracks and raising bridges.

He says at least 600 jobs have been created as a result of the project.

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Written by Panos Kakaviatos

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