CIRLCEVILLE -“This is part of a federal mandate they are trying to close 25% of railroad crossings for saftey. We currently have 18 crossings in the City of Circleville, 10 of them are main lines, High, Main, Mill, Mound, Ohio, Scioto, Court, Pickaway, Washington, and Clinton Streets,” said Don Sherman Service Director.
Two of the proposed closings are part of the main line track. During January 16, 2019 Council meeting Four crossings were discussed and only one had major complaints, the crossing at East Corwin. After hearing the complaints from the individuals on Corwin Street Casey Tolbert Norfolk Southern Rail Representative said they would go back and make a offer on the closing of the other three crossings since there was not much opposition on them and see what they can do about the possible Corwin closure to ease concerns. He continued, “Closure of only three crossings will impact the incentive package that has been offered for the four closures, if Circleville could find a fourth closure to replace Corwin that is a possibility also, you are the folks that know your community and your crossings.”
During this weeks council meeting Don Sherman approached council with Norfolk Southern Rails offer for the three crossings that was to be 150,000 in funding for any kind of spending, 30,000 in safety barracades improvements for the closure areas, and 700,000 in safety improvement to other crossings in the Circleville area. This would only include safety improvements Sherman explained not to fix the roads around the crossings.
During the meeting a local Circleville Citizen Beverly Martin who owns property at 139 East Ohio street complained about the railroad continuing to dump in her location and around the city creating poor conditions and habitats for vermin. Martin said this was a prime time to leverage these wanted closures against needed clean up of these dump grounds.
Mayor Mcllroy replied that Ohio Rail Commission was easy to work with and Norfolk Southern has a “doesn’t care attitude.” Mcllroy mentioned that he had reached out to several representatives to get invoved. Mcllroy said only after he sent a certified letter to the railroad did they respond about cleaning out the dumping grounds around the city and had appointed a liaison to speak to the city.
A ordinance approving the closures was sent to Council for approval and discussion.