Scott City council airs complaints with railroad over communication

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Scott City Council expressed frustration with Union Pacific Railroad at its regular council meeting Monday night over late notice of blocked intersections in the city.

Council members say the railroad didn't notify them in enough time that crossings at Oak and Rose Con streets would be blocked.

"The railroad won't communicate with us," Ward 2 councilman John Crail said.

The railroad blocked intersections Monday to perform maintenance, but didn't inform the city until that day that such work would occur. Traffic had to be detoured, and city officials say they want advance notice of such blocked crossings to alert emergency responders.

The railroad performed similar actions during work on another intersection several months ago, Crail said.

Council members and Mayor Tim Porch also expressed some frustration at a local homeowner, Steve Sanford, for delays in finishing construction on a home at 2416 Ellis St.

Work began on the home as long as four years ago, said city administrator Ron Eskew.

Sanford was recently cited by the city under Scott City's nuisance ordinances for having the interior of the home's basement exposed. In response, Sanford put up temporary walls to block the exposure, but council members and Porch stressed the need for Sanford to finish the project quickly.

"We've been beaten around here pretty bad" by citizens complaining about the long delay in construction, Porch said.

Sanford's building permit for the property is expired, but the city will allow him to finish the project to abate the nuisance created by the unfinished project. The home is currently in condemnation proceedings, and Porch and council members promised to work with Sanford as long as the project is finished within a reasonable time frame.

The council also learned that Ward 4 councilman Ron Worl resigned from his post Dec. 19 due to health and personal reasons. Worl has served on the council since September 2004. Porch will now appoint a replacement to be approved by the council until the seat comes up for election in 2008.

In other business:

* The council voted 5 to 0 to hire Dustin Jarrell and Jordan Bain to the police department, to promote Dennis Dolan to police sergeant and to raise salaries for police department employees Gina Cook and Casey Dodd by $1,000 and $500, respectively. Worl, Ward 2 councilman Jim McCarty and Ward 4 councilman Norman Brant were absent for all votes.

* The council voted 5 to 0 to stop condemnation proceedings on properties at 102 William St. and 610 Third St. after the owners brought the properties into compliance with city ordinances.

* The council voted 5 to 0 to table a resolution deeding a portion of Seventh Street East to John and Deanna Niederkorn.

* The council voted 5 to 0 to appoint Beverly Masters to the city police board.

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