Updated: Apr 20, 2022
Indian Hill RR Crossing. Last topic on the agenda. The audio of the discussion starts at 17:47. A very informative exchange of information.
Presentation and Discussion. Scott Rudd (former Nashville Town manager, current county councilman) provided an excellent presentation reinforcing the case and the urgency for re-opening the crossing.
Copy of Scott’s Presentation: Commissioners Presentation Indian Hill Road
Bob Weddle (25:07) of Weddle Farms (7th generation farm) shared his story on the impact the closing has had on his farming operations including the safety risks and concerns. The family granted the original easement to the railroad.
Mike Moga: Barnes and Thornburg: 1:09:13. IC 8-6-7.7- 3.1. Commissioners can close a crossing but only INDOT has the power to re-open. County can petition INDOT and if INDOT agrees, the RR has the right to appeal. Costs unknown. Initial cost estimates by the RR appear to be grossly overstated. Not clear on INDOTs support of the county to re-open.
- Section 8-6-7.7-3.2 – Petition for closure; public hearing; determination and findings by unit
- IC 8-6.7. – 3.2a “(e) Notwithstanding subsections (a) through (d), a unit and a railroad may agree to close a crossing within the jurisdiction of the unit.
- PDF: Section 8-6-7.7-3.2 – Petition for closure; public hearing; determination and findings by unit
- Background and Agreement – County and RR. Part 1: Closure – Railroad Crossing – Indian Hill Rd
Tim Clark -1:16:02 Legislative Support and Public Hearing. The supporting statute regarding the public hearing is IC 86-6.7-3.2a Section E. If an agreement is reached between the commissioners and the RR, no public hearing was required.
Representative Matt Pierce reinforced that the Legislature will support local decisions regarding the crossing and has initiated discussions with INDOT and the railroad.
Motion by Commissioners to Pursue a Petition to INDOT. Pittman and Braden voted Yes, Sanders No. Commissions Sanders also supports re-opening and wants more information from INDOT. He wants to consider legal advice, costs, and risks. He suggested revisiting the issue in 2-weeks and inviting input from the public.
- What if INDOT will not support re-opening?
- What actions can the Legislature take to support the re-opening?
- If INDOT does support and the railroad appeals, what is involved in this process? Could it include a lawsuit against INDOT and the County?
- If INDOT and the County are successful in re-opening, what would be the costs? Estimates have ranged from under $2,000 per statute and regulation to an estimate provided by the railroad of over 100K.
- The railroad also suggested a “tunnel” (who funds?) which is unnecessary for a crossing with no reported accidents – ever. The tunnel option is likely nothing more than a delaying tactic to encourage the commissioners and citizens to abandon all hope.