Rough RR crossings concern local officials
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 8:53 pm
By: Donna Ryder, Associate Editor
By DONNA RYDER
The condition of the railroad lines in Union City has been a matter of contention.
Union City council members have complained of rough crossings and weeds which have been allowed to grow alongside the tracks.
At a meeting last month, public works director Steve Ladd told the council he knows there are problems and has repeatedly called the railroad company, to the point that officials there stopped answering his phone calls.
He said the railroad company will only perform work on the lines if instructed to do so by state officials.
Tuesday night, Ladd presented council members with the latest report on crossings within the city as designated by Tennessee Department of Transportation railroad safety specialist Steve Burress.
All 19 railroad crossings received passing grades, with two noted as being “rough” and requiring minimal work. Those were on East Jackson and College streets. Both were graded as “fair.”
Other crossings graded as “fair” were on Reelfoot Avenue, East Bradford, East Florida, East Church, East Main, two on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, North Sixth and Main. The remainder were graded the better rating of “good” and included East Harrison, East Palmer, East Gibbs, East Cheatham, Law Lane, North Third, North Second and East Church.
Ladd said he spoke with Burress about the Main Street crossing, which has concerned council members, but Burress has rated it as fair and is not recommending work be done on it.
“He said railroad tracks are not to be as smooth as a highway,” Ladd told the council.
In other business, after the meeting was opened in prayer by city attorney Jim Glasgow Jr., the council:
• Approved contracts with the Tennessee Depart-ment of Transportation for water and sewer projects relating to I-60 Phase III. The cost to the city will be $64,110.87 for engineering fees related to the sewer project and $48,317.35 for the water project. The total project cost is estimated to be $1,443,233.
Each phase of the I-69 project has cost the city engineering fees, interim city manager Kathy Dillon said.
• Agreed to apply for an Urban and Community Forestry Grant. The city can apply for up to $20,000 because it was affected by the ice storm. Ms. Dillon said the city does not plan to replace any trees felled by the ice storm, but can apply the grant toward the planting of trees at the walking track being built at the industrial park.
• Allowed the closure of Church Street between Perkins and Depot streets on Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. so Southern Cruisers Riding Club may hold a benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
• Received a report on National Night Out.
• Inquired about Barker Brothers requiring trash cans be placed on one side of the street on one-way streets. The matter was brought to a councilman by an 85-year-old resident who said she cannot put the trash can on the opposite side of the street. Ms. Dillon will check on the policy.
• Was questioned by resident Harry Hayes about potholes in Nash Street and about the roadway having concrete in the middle. He said it will knock a car’s wheels out of alignment. He also asked why the city does not take care of grass growing along the curbs in front of his house. He said it is not his property and he should not have to pull it up.
Mayor Terry Hailey said the city does not have the manpower to spray all the grass in the street. When Hayes hinted that the city does spray the streets in some areas of the city, Ladd quickly corrected him and said the city does not. The city does spray some of the ditches in the city, though.
Hayes also asked about the possibility of reopening the swimming pool and said he had been told it was going to be made into a parking lot. Hailey said the city would like to reopen the pool but does not have the money to do so at this time. He said the city has been talking about it. Hailey added the only reason the pool would become a parking lot is if the current parking lot property is used to locate a new pool.
• Was approached by Roger Kimmell about the animal shelter. He said he had asked the shelter manager to attend the meeting. Although she was present, councilman Billy Jack “B.J.” Cranford said they did not have any questions for her, but did want her to submit, in writing, who was in charge of the shelter.
Published in The Messenger 8.4.10