Saturday, May 14, 2016

Rock County Board opposes current railroad plan

JANESVILLE — The Rock County Board of Supervisors formally opposed a proposed railroad project, which is proposed to pass through the eastern portion of the county.

The supervisors voted unanimously for resolution to oppose the plan at its meeting Thursday. Supervisors Wayne Gustine and Jason Heidenreich were absent.

According to the resolution, the Great Lakes Basin Railroad project would remove an estimated 570 acres of prime farmland from production, which would represent an annual economic loss to agriculture and agricultural services of $608,615. The resolution also recognized that several townships the rail line would pass through have also registered their opposition, including Milton, Johnstown, Bradford and Clinton.

Supporters of the 280-mile rail project have said that it will be an economic boon because it will enable freight to pass around Chicago, which is a point of congestion for trains.

The project would cost an estimated $8 billion, but it would be privately funded and privately owned.

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