Residents plan to fight staging yard

Staff Report

Swanton area residents discussed the proposed Norfolk Southern staging yard at a public meeting last Tuesday at Swanton Township Hall. Again, the residents voiced overwhelmingly negative opinions on the project.

Scott Road resident Andy Gibbons said it basically “was a forum to develop a plan of attack on what all residents can do to start fighting it.”

Letting people know about the proposed staging yard is said to be key. “The main thing is to get the word out to the town, as most residents either have no idea or they may think it is a done deal when it certainly isn’t,” he said.

One step in spreading the word was the creation of a Facebook group to help disseminate information. The group Citizens Against Norfolk Southern (C.A.N.S.) has been formed.

There is also a blog for those that do not have Facebook.

Concerns related to the construction of the staging yard include pollution, security issues, blight, decrease in property values, and traffic bottlenecks.

The yard, which would extend from near Hallett Avenue (Fulton Lucas Road) to east of Scott Road, would be about 60 acres in size with a 120-acre footprint. The closing of Scott Road at the tracks is desired by Norfolk Southern.

Railroad officials said the yard would be a “parking lot” where coal trains would wait until they are needed.

Staff Report