Posted by Jeremy Shulkin
Two subcommittee meetings prior to tonight’s city council meeting will focus on CSX related issues and topics.
Economic Development is up first at 6:00 to enact zoning changes for 15-17 Putnam Lane and to allow for a railroad track heading towards Plantation Street.
At 6:30 Public Works will discuss “the discontinuance of a portion” of Putnam Lane, the approval of new sidewalks and street takings and to allow CSX to build an overpass over Franklin Street.
What else is new with the CSX project?
In a report provided to city councilors from the City Manager’s office, O’Brien says that 9 of the 14 properties on that fall under the expansion have reached agreements with CSX, which represents 20 out of the necessary 24 acres. Eminent domain “still remains an option” for the remaining properties.
CSX will also pay the city $1 million instead of providing the city with a newly created parcel of land on Grafton Street. The report does not say how big or where this would be, but only that redevelopment of it would have been difficult due to “restrictions on the parcel.”
As reported in the Telegram, CSX will finally present the folks policing the Environmental Protection Act with an Environmental Notification Form, but an extensive Environmental Impact Report won’t be necessary because a 50 acre freight yard with thousands of diesel train and truck trips per week in and out of the middle of a large city will have a “non-existent or minimal” impact on the environment.
CSX has hired Ragnar Benson Construction for general contractor work “with a goal toward optimizing employment opportunities for local workers.” Over 400 construction jobs are expected to be created.