Clark County Receives $100K From BNSF Railroad To Close Crossing In Medill
By Mike Scott
Clark County Road 153 is now closed at the Medill railroad crossing, surprising some nearby landowners and forcing others to use the Highway 136 overpass to move their farm equipment.
Kahoka resident Larry Young owns land near the crossing, and uses it frequently.
“My question is why didn’t the commissioners contact the landowners? I think they should have talked to us before they closed it,” Young said.
The idea came before the Clark County Commissioners on April 24 of 2008, when Paul Allen, Wayne Bourgeois and C.W. Higbee were commissioners.
According to the minutes of that meeting, Bruce Chinn of the BNSF Railroad talked to the Commissioners, offering the county $100,000 to close the crossing because he felt it was a safety hazard. The same plan had been presented in 2003.
At that time, the Commissioners took no further action.
On March 10, 2009, Chinn returned and met with current the current Commissioners: Paul Allen, Jerry Neyens and Roger Sedore. The commissioners agreed to check the legality of the situation.
On April 14, Prosecutor Scott Summers began preparing a petition for the Commissioners to get twelve freeholders to sign to close the Road 153 which crosses the railroad tracks at Medill. The meeting minutes state, “The railroad will reimburse the County $100,000 for closing this crossing.”
At the July 7 meeting, Commissioner Roger Sedore gave the first reading the petition for the closure and vacation of Road 153 in Lincoln Township. The road was said to be “unsafe and dangerous and repairing of same constitutes and unreasonable burden on the County of Clark.”
A second reading was held at the August 4 meeting.
The Commissioners visited with Prosecuting Attorney Scott Summers at their August 13 meeting. Summers was preparing an ordinance in regard to the closing of the railroad crossing.
On September 1. Commissioners Paul Allen, Jerry Neyens and Roger Sedore read the Road Closed Petition for Road #153 for the third time. ?The Commissioners passed Ordinance #13, an ordinance relating to the closing of County Road #153. The Commissioners agreed to close Road 153 at the railroad crossing and the Railroad agreed to pay Clark County $100,000 for permanently closing the Santa Fe Streetgrade crossing. The County agrees to relinquish any rights or easement across the railroad’s property.
On Tuesday, November 24, Larry Young and Arney Carroll talked to the Commissioners about the closing of Road #153 in Medill. Both have property along this road. Young asked the Commissioners what the railroad received from the County when they gave the County $100,000 for closing this crossing. They told him that they got their crossing arms back. Young and Carroll also asked what the $100,000 would be used for. The commissioners were not sure about this. Carroll gave the Commissioners a petition asking that Road #153 be reopened.
In other business at the November 24 meeting, the Commissioners had a mandatory meeting in the courtroom for all county employees. They asked where the staff thought a new courthouse should be build. The vote indicated that the old courthouse should be removed and a new courthouse should be build on the original site.