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We are sure you have heard on the radio, read in the paper, or heard others talking about the Canadian Pacific and Santa Fe railroad merger and its plan to run 14 more trains down our tracks. These trains will be filled with crude oil which Canada is sending to Mexico. This is not 14 more cars, but 14 more trains in addition to what we now have. The average CP train is just over a mile-and-a-half long but can regularly reach up to over two-and-a-quarter miles long. The concern is derailment which in Princeton could definitely result in human injury or death as stated by our Fire Chief because of the number of homes next to the track. In addition, there is danger of the inability of emergency workers to get to across the tracks, or get the rescue boat into the river during the summer. About three weeks ago a train derailed up near Lansing and dumped a rail car of coal into the Mississippi. And we are aware of the deaths and property damage recently here and in LeClaire. The noise from the trains has increased over the last few years, and the decibel level of the horns has been raised. It is a medical fact that excessive noise is not good for people. The track noise and the blasting of horns creates disruption of daily activities and can wake people at night. An Old Dominion University study found that consistent exposure to 65 decibels or greater of railroad noise pollution could reduce property values by up to 18%, a mark well below the 85-decibel average of most freight trains. The mayors from Clinton (where the trains cross the river from Illinois) to Muscatine (where the trains leave the riverfront to go west) are working as a group to try to stop this merger, or get it off the Mississippi River. Illinois has a website opposed to this route. The economic impact on city development and devaluing of homes is not to be ignored. The Surface Transportation Board (STB) will make a decision in the next few months. It is getting information from the elected officials, local governments and businesses, but they have asked for individuals to contact them with concerns on the effects of the existing trains and the effect another 14 trains will have. If you would like to comment, the website to contact the STB is. There will be a dropdown for a docket number then another one to route the comments to Dr. Josh Wahlen. https://www.stb.gov/proceedings-actions/e-filing/environmental_comments Docket: FD36500 There is also a phone number which if you call reference the merger: (202) 245-0301
As a reminder to all residents; Golf Carts MUST be registered through the city and CHILDREN are NOT authorized to drive golf carts WITH OR WITHOUT a parent. Drivers need to be 18 with a valid license. Citations will be given for any residents breaking this law.