What would you pay for a Quiet Zone?

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Posted by Tim Meehl | Posted in Mayor's Corner, Perham Happenings | Posted on 08-11-2013

Anybody want the train horns to stop blowing when they go through Perham? The subject is still on the table and being discussed.

Some proposals were presented at the Committee of the Whole meeting last Wednesday. It can be very costly in the amount of dollars it will take, or it can be less expensive but at the cost of closing a crossing (that crossing possibly being 2nd Ave. NW).

The most expensive way, and the safest, will cost in the neighborhood of $2.5 million, with a $21,000-a-year maintenance fee. Close that 2nd Ave. crossing, which is our most dangerous crossing, according to the railroad, and the cost drops to an estimated $200,000 – quite a difference.

The railroad wants to close 25 percent of its crossings nationwide, and we have a high number of crossings for the size of our city. Though there is not talk of it at this time, I have a feeling that in the future, the railroad may pick crossings themselves and close them, with cities receiving nothing in return.

I am keeping an open mind on this subject and am open to all options. In the end, it will have to be paid for by the taxpayers, or another option would be fundraising, which was brought up to me by a group that would love to quiet the trains.

We have lived with trains for a long time and have gotten used to them, but there are more trains every day, and the decibel level of the horns has risen. The horns are annoying, and I would love to quiet them as we have been discussing this for three years now. But at what price?

I would appreciate any comments. Email me at tmeehl@cityofperham.com.

Thank you and stay safe everyone.

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