Glad the Trib got the word out about the train whistles. Unfortunately you only got part of the story.
The area currently affected by the whistles and benefiting from the alternative horns, if implemented, amount to less than 15% of the town residents. Of those 15%, many do not support spending town funds to the tune of $281,000, plus ongoing maintenance and operations. In addition, Burlington Northern would require the town provide traffic control at the Ferry crossing, at an additional cost to the town.
Mayor Lucas’ quote would indicate the town is ‘flush’ with money to burn. In fact many town services and maintenance have been deferred, delayed or eliminated due to a lack of funding. These include street overlayments, beach watchers, volunteer appreciation, Fall Festival, full time parks director, full time youth director, etc.
Finally, you should know that the instigation to expend town dollars, and encouragement of residents and neighbors started with council member Connie Aboubakr, a recent town resident and freshman council member, who happens to live across the street from Sunnyside Beach. Additionally, council member Aboubakr owns several undeveloped acres across from Sunnyside Beach, including some wetland and wildlife habitat, that she has filed a short plat to request rezone for multi-family housing. Potential train whistle alternatives are expected to raise property value in the affected area. In my opinion she should not have been allowed to vote on the original allocation of $130,000 nor should she or any other council member living in or owning property in the affected area as defined by Burlington Northern, be allowed to speak or vote on the issue, although she continues to lobby neighbors and relatives to speak on her behalf.
Thanks for your coverage.
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