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Planning Board vote near on Ward Hill subdivision

— Iowa Pacific RR

During the privilege of the floor portion of the meeting, resident Bob Nessle urged the board to be vigilant in making sure the Iowa Pacific Railroad remains a good neighbor as it branches out into industrial rail hauling when it begins runs to and from Tahawus to bring mining tailings south.

“It’s an industrial railroad versus a tourist railroad,” Nessle said. “There’s a big difference.”

Specifically, Nessle said he was concerned that Iowa Pacific would park railcars that weren’t in service in and around the train station and the congestion could hamper the town’s tourist initiatives as well as take space from the weekly seasonal farmers’ market.

Planning Board Attorney Mike Hill suggested that perhaps the Town Board would be better positioned to reach out to the railroad and start a dialogue. As a federally regulated entity, the railroad doesn’t come under the jurisdiction of the Planning Board. Still, board member Roger Smith said he’d be happy to reach out to the railroad and share Nessle’s concerns.

The Planning Board will reconvene for its July meeting at 7 p.m. on July 23 in the downstairs meeting room at Tannery Pond Community Center.

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