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Residents speak to city council on concerns about rail yard proposal

At this time city leaders have not made any future plans to revisit the rail yard proposal this year. Residents hope the city will consider their concerns, before the project moves any further.

On Tuesday, over a dozen residents spoke out to city council over the controversy surrounding Cargill's plans to build a new rail yard near a Cedar Rapids neighborhood.

A discussion on easements for the new Cargill rail yard were taken off the council docket this week, but residents they are still upset their questions regarding how the rail yard will impact noise, traffic and property value in their community have not been answered.

"Cargill has decided, my impression is, that they are going to take this piece of land that belongs to the nature corridor, belongs in the nature corridor and disrupt it, and put in a rail switching yard in a residential neighborhood, which is unacceptable," said concerned resident Albert Lucas.

"My main thing is all the people who use that corridor and future generations that won't have an opportunity to prevent this from happening," said Jeremiah Kenny, another concerned resident.

A Cedar Rapids Corn Milling Facility Plant Manager Dan Pulis told CBS2 news in part, "Our intent has been all along to be fully transparent with the neighborhood and the city...after exhausting all the available and cost-effective options."

Cargill officials said they load an average of 25 rail-cars per day. They said having their own rail yard further from the downtown area will help reduce train traffic downtown. Pulis said, "Our growth can positively impact the greater cedar rapids area economy and our corporate giving, more than it already does today."

At this time city leaders have not made any future plans to revisit the rail yard proposal this year. Residents hope the city will consider their concerns, before the project moves any further.

Pulis said they are in the early stages of the process for a new rail yard and still welcome alternative ideas.

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