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|Taxes Could Be Used to Pay for Some Quiet Zone Work in Galesburg
|Most residents and aldermen who attended a special Galesburg City Council work session Monday night agreed that rail crossing quiet zones need to be established yesterday, but some called into question how it would be paid for.
The council heard a presentation on the proposal first discussed a year ago to close eight rail crossings in town and make trains in those areas lay off the whistles -- six on the Chilicothe Subdivision, and two on the Mendota Subdivision, assuming the Federal Railroad Administration signs off on the plan.
But the rub is the cost -- $2.5 million, of which, Burlington Northern Santa Fe agreed to pay $735,000, while the Illinois Commerce Commission and Department of Transportation agreed to foot $600,000.
City Engineer Wayne Carl says a number of ideas for footing the remaining $1 million have been discussed.
"One would be a Special Service Area," Carl said. "(It would be) basically mirroring parcels that are impacted on the Severe Impact Map that we did on the feasibility study. So, anybody that's in the Severe Impact would be considered to be in the...Special Service Area."
In other words, a special type of property tax levy could be implemented in that area, a city-wide tax levy could be assessed, or a combination of the two, along with money that could be committed from the Galesburg Downtown Council or from the city's Tax Increment Financing or other funds.
Some residents said they already feel like they're taxed to death, while others said it would be worth it to silence trains.
If all were to go according to plan, the earliest quiet zones would go into effect are July of 2012.
(The Galesburg City Council watches a presentation on the city's quiet zone plan Monday night at the Galesburg Public Library. WGIL News Story and Photo by Will Stevenson.)
|11 24 09 by Newsroom
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