The property sales came before the Plan Commission previously and was delayed because commission members had more questions about Union Pacific’s intention for the land. Commission member Jim McGraw raised some concerns that the questions still had not been answered.
In a letter to Farwell from Union Pacific’s Senior Manager of Real Estate Mark Jensen, Jensen said the Union Pacific is not prepared to provide a public map of the dimensions of the project, preliminary engineering alignment or buffer zone dimensions that would answer some of the questions previously posed by Plan Commission members. Jensen also did not know whether the parcels would be used during construction of the bridge.
McGraw also noted the properties in question were a considerable distance from the area that is anticipated to be occupied by the railroad tracks.
Lonergan asserted that although the properties appear to be noticeably separate from the proposed tracks, their purchase would ensure that Union Pacific was not creating a disturbance with the speedier trains.
“They’re trying to avoid future problems. If trains are going by faster and they’re making more vibrations they don’t want to have complaints from these properties,” Lonergan said.
With a unanimous recommendation from the Plan Commission, the sale will move forward to the City Council for approval.