Friday, May 6, 2016

CSX ‘forgot’ about closing rail crossing says city official

At Monday’s council meeting, councilman Keith Farrell shared residents’ concerns about the railroad crossing at South Finley Street, and the on-going construction closure of the tracks.  In a surprising revelation, Director of Public Works Jack Snyder stated he had looked into the issue that very day.   After speaking with CSX  officials, Snyder said that apparently the railroad company had simply “forgot” about it.

CSX promised to have the work completed and the crossing re-opened by the end of the week.  
Concern over emergency services needing to travel though that area was discussed and although it might be an inconvenience, those services would not be hampered.

Fire Chief Brad Curry told the council that fire trucks or ambulances could cross at several points along the railroad.

“We used to have a big problem when the trains coming from Dotiki would block all of the crossings to the south side of the tracks,” he reported. “But that hasn’t happened in years.”

Councilman Tom Skinner wanted to confirm the ownership of the local airport, given some concerns about the city’s liability in the event that there might be some question of compliance in its operation.  
Mayor Gooch stated that the airport was owned jointly by the city and county.  The city pays for the insurance, with the county chipping in one half of the premium.  Because of its proximity, the city maintains upkeep of the grounds while the actual airport board has the responsibility of operations and issues of compliance.  This brought up previous questions regarding the makeup of the board and term limits of the members.  That discussion was tabled until Gooch could look further into it. 

Councilman Doug Hammers asked if there had been any more news from Time-Warner Cable’s service to the city.  Just weeks ago, federal regulators had approved a merger between TWC and Charter communications.  Hammers wanted to know how this might affect the service that had been promised the community.  Gooch suggested that the best way to find out would be to have a representative come in to provide those answers directly and he will have his office follow up. 

In other, positive news, Gooch stated that the uptown streetlights had been completed which has made a huge difference to the area.  He is also hopeful, and is working to see if they can move forward with placing digital stop-lights there as well. 


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