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City Officials: Railroad Bridge Project Not Done Deal

Mayor Susan Drucker and Councilman Bill Mooney cautioned residents that a project to spend roughly $1 million to improve the railroad bridge has not been finalized.

Mayor Susan Drucker and Councilman Bill Mooney cautioned residents that a project to spend roughly $1 million to improve the railroad bridge has not been finalized.

Speaking during Monday's council meeting, the officials said that the project, which has received some criticism from residents as wasteful spending, is still in the idea stage.

The project has been referred to the finance committee, and is essentially put on hold until it can be discussed during the city's budget hearings.

"Nothing has been approved," said Mooney, who is chairman of the finance committee. "We are a long ways from spending $1 million on a bridge project."

The project, estimated to cost about $950,000, received an unanimous thumbs up by the safety committee.

The plan would be to reface the retaining walls beneath the bridge and create a sort-of false facade that would improve the look of the bridge but not interfere with the ability to maintain or even use the railroad.

The city would then intend to install electronic message boards on the bridge to replace the banners that have traditionally been hung on the bridge to publicize local groups and events.

Supporters say the project would be done in phases and is a key and final step to the city's master plan in the center of town. But opponents, including former mayor Bob Paulson, say the project is a waste of money.

Mayor Susan Drucker said Monday that the proposal is only an idea and one that was actually a "fancier approach than what was intended."

"You have to start somewhere, you have to start with the idea," Drucker said.

Drucker also said any approval from the railroad companies to make the improvements would likely take months, so even if approved the project would be a long way off.

Harry November 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Yes, so they started with an almost million dollar idea that has already unanimously passed one city council committee (Safety and Public Properties) and now Drucker says the city was only exploring ideas? That sounds like horse manure to me. They are only backpedalling now because they are beginning to hear from residents about how ridiculous cost of their "idea" is.
William McStay November 21, 2012 at 02:33 PM
I agree just paint the damn thing and lets get on with other more important issues
Jacki Calavitta November 21, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Only a team of idiots would think this idea merits a serious discussion. Well..... At the same time, our extremely competent school treasurer releases a report stating that property tax revenues, due to declining real estate valuations, will not keep pace with school budgets in the five-year forecast despite ongoing belt-tightening. Where the heck are our community's priorities, and why is City Hall so out of sync with reality?

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