Support Grows For Closing Morses Line Crossing
05/28/10 7:34AM By Ross Sneyd
(Host) A northern Vermont farm family has won another powerful ally as it tries to overturn the federal government's decision to take land for a new border station.
Brian Rainville of Morses Line traveled to Washington this week. He testified before a congressional committee that oversees how money is spent from the federal stimulus law.
And the powerful chairman of that committee, Congressman James Oberstar, told Rainville that he would demand that the Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano abandon the Morses Line project.
(Oberstar) "I will send to Secretary Napolitano this portion of the transcript of the hearing, with a recommendation that the project be withdrawn. That the funds be deflected to some other beneficial pursuit."
(Host) Homeland Security wants to expand a tiny border station in Morses Line. But it says it needs land that Brian Rainville says his family uses to raise feed for its dairy cattle.
(Rainville) "My family said clearly this is vital cropland. Their environmental assessment said this is a vacant lot. Rather than weigh the loss against our farm, they compared all our acreage to all the acreage in Franklin County."
(Host) Vermont's congressional delegation has also demanded that the federal government drop its plans to take the Rainvilles' land by eminent domain.
Senator Patrick Leahy says it's time Homeland Security closed the border crossing at tiny Morses Line completely.