Village of North Fond du Lac

Quiet Zone

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10/25/2013

 

This should be the last update on having the horns stop blowing at the Lakeshore Drive railroad crossing. The meeting is set for Monday, October 28th for the board to vote on the resolution to vacate a portion of Lakeshore Drive at the railroad crossing. If passed, I will have the resolution certified at the County Register of Deeds on Tuesday October 29th. I will then forward the certified resolution to the railroad and the horns should stop shortly after. The Village Department of Public Works will barricade the crossing on Tuesday morning. I want to THANK  the Village residents for their patient during this period.

 

10/11/2013

 

I have no new news on the vacating of the Lakeshore Drive crossing. The public hearing and board action on the vacating resolution is still set for Monday October 28

 

th, 6:00 pm. If the board approves the resolution to vacate the crossing, I expect the horns to stop blowing on the 29th 

.

 

10/03/2013

 

I have been trying to ensure that everything goes without a hitch to have the horns stop blowing after the 40 day requirement for vacating a street. Personnel and materials have been lined up to barricade the street, railroad personnel have been notified that they will be handed a certified resolution that the street has been vacated if the Board approves the vacating. This was planned to happen on October 22

 

nd 

, 40 days from when the resolution was introduced.  

I came across a task to publish a class 3 notification for the public hearing of vacating the crossing. A class 3 notice requirement is to publish a notice three consecutive weeks prior to the hearing. To meet the timeline of a public hearing on October 21

 

 

 

st, the first notice needed to be published on September 30th. I failed to submit this to the Reporter in time and expect the first publication to be no later than October 6th. This will push the public hearing back to October 28th. I dropped the ball on this task and know of no other way keep the original date of October 21st with the horns to stop blowing on October 22nd. With this new timetable, I expect the horns to stop blowing on October 29th 

. I am sorry for missing this deadline in the process.

Chuck Hornung

 

9/20/2013

Village staff met with railroad personnel to determine what materials would be necessary to

 

block Lakeshore Drive at the crossing in the event of the Board approving the vacating of the crossing on October 21

 

st 

. The location of the barricades was also agreed upon.

I continue to receive correspondence from Congressman Petri’s office in an effort to try and stop the horns as soon as possible. I am also searching for any solution to re-instate the quiet zone or at least stop the horns before the vacating can take place.

I questioned the CN railroad staff as to why the horns sometimes sound longer than others. They indicated they are regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration. Engineers are required to sound the horns with two long, one short, and one long blast every time they cross an at grade intersection. This horn sounding pattern is to sound as the engine passes through the intersection. The horn sound pattern may sound longer if a vehicle or person is near the crossing.

 

9/13/2013

The Village Board met again this week on Wednesday to discuss the option of vacating rather than closing the Lakeshore Drive railroad crossing. The end result of both processes would stop the horn blowing except the vacating process can be accomplished in forty days rather than the sixty to ninety days for a closing process. Several residents attended the meeting expressing concerns about being cut off from the Village once the street is vacated.

The Village Board discussed the vacating option and agreed to start the process with a four to one vote for approval. The one dissenting vote was not that they disagreed with the option but rather wanted a couple more days to see if the railroad would give some assurance that Subway Road and Scott Street would be more assessable to through traffic.

I sent off emails to several railroad officials to make sure there would be no delays once the forty day timeframe elapsed. If someone would be on vacation or away on business, I wanted to know who to contact to make sure the horns stopped at soon as possible. One of the railroad attorneys validated all the steps and timetables. He indicated the horns would stop blowing within 24 hours of being given the certified resolution, vacating the crossing. He also felt within a couple of days after vacating the crossing, the crossing arms would be disabled and the bells would stop ringing.

9/10/2013

 

Village staff continues to pursue every option to stop the train horn blowing at the Lakeshore Drive crossing. Last Friday, September 6

 

th 

, a special board meeting was held to discuss the option of closing Lakeshore Drive. Several residents from the Village attended the meeting stating their displeasure with the whole situation. After the residents spoke, the Village Board approved a resolution to close Lakeshore Drive. This decision was to start the closure process.

On Monday I learned more about the option of closing versus vacating Lakeshore Drive. It turns out the effect is the same where vacating is normally initiated by a municipality and closing is initiated by the railroad. Vacating takes a minimum of 40 days while closing takes 60 to 90 days.

State statue, 66.1003, dictates the vacating process.

 

With this clarification, I am calling another board meeting for Wednesday, September 11

 

 

 

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, at 4:00 PM to ask the Village Board to consider a resolution to vacate Lakeshore Drive in an effort to shorten the period until the horns can stop blowing.

Chuck Hornung

Village Administrator