It might just take a little bit of federal muscle to move the into downtown.
On July 5, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Congressman John Kline, (R-Second District) of Lakeville, sent a letter to the Surface Transportation Board urging they take action and help find a solution to the .
For years, the city of Lakeville has expressed its displeasure with storage of the empty cars along the exempt rail-line by Progressive Rail, a Lakeville company that owns the tracks. Residents who own homes facing, and in many cases, have backyards butting up to the rail-cars—they feel more than frustration in many cases.
Neighbors have complained the rail-cars are a splattered with profane graffiti, present safety hazards and are poorly maintained with regard to debris and garbage. The city has held a number of meetings to address the concerns, but could take no formal action other than asking for federal action.
“My kids, who were five and seven at the time, asked me about some words on the train and I had to quickly think up an age appropriate definition which doesn’t make me happy,” Anglea Vanden Busch, a Lakeville resident who has had enough of the blight caused by the rail cars in her backyard, told Patch last year. “My seven-year old said ‘What does rape mean, Mom?’ I had to quick say something.”
“The storage of the cars is allowed under federal law and local communities do not have regulatory authority over the storage,” said Steve Mielke, Lakeville’s city administrator who has fielded numerous complaints on the issue.
The letter urges Daniel R. Elliott III, chairman of the Surface Transportation Board, to facilitate a "resolution to this ongoing impasse" by pressing Progressive Rail into finding a different place for the cars.
"“The storage of these rail cars has caused adjacent residential property owners to express concerns regarding negative effects on their homes and the general welfare of the community," the letter said.
will have more ont his story as it progresses.
Full text of the letter:
July 5, 2012
The Honorable Daniel R. Elliott III
Chairman, Surface Transportation Board
395 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20423
Dear Chairman Elliott:
As you continue your work to resolve railroad rate and service disputes, we want to bring to your attention an ongoing dispute involving a rail company, the City of Lakeville, and its residents. We request your assistance in facilitating a resolution to this ongoing impasse.
Progressive Rail – a contract rail carrier that operates nearly 80 miles of line in the Twin Cities area – has been storing inactive rail cars on the City of Lakeville’s freight railroad tracks for several years due to the continued economic downturn. The storage of these rail cars has caused adjacent residential property owners to express concerns regarding negative effects on their homes and the general welfare of the community.
City officials and local residents have repeatedly asked Progressive Rail officials to be more courteous to the community in which they operate and relocate the rail cars to a different location or limit the number of cars stored. The City of Lakeville has held a number of public meetings and ultimately passed a resolution requesting federal action to limit the storage of rail cars in or adjacent to urbanized residential areas.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter of critical concern to my constituents. We look forward to continuing to work with you on this important issue. For further questions or additional follow up, please contact Yelena Vaynberg with Congressman Kline at firstname.lastname@example.org or Travis Talvitie with Senator Klobuchar at email@example.com.