Meck lawmaker wants state leaders to vote on rail project

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV/AP) -  A Mecklenburg County lawmaker says he's filed a bill requiring a legislative hoop before $461 million in federal high-speed rail money can be used to improve passenger train service between North Carolina's two largest cities.

The measure would ensure the state can afford operating the project after the money's used.

GOP Rep. Ric Killian suggested North Carolina should decline to take the federal money unless the state can prove operating the new train operation won't take too much money from needed road construction.

"I frankly am very concerned for our taxpayers and I think somebody needs to step up and say wait a minute," Killian told WBTV

Transportation officials announced formally Tuesday the agreement designed to cut travel time from Charlotte to Raleigh to less than three hours despite seven stops along the way.

Gov. Beverly Perdue praised the federal grants, saying it would bring thousands of jobs to the state and boost long-term economic activity.

Copyright 2011 WBTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.