space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Thunder on a Roll; Claim Four More Wins
* Coleman Wins D3 Regional; Advance 12 to Sectional
* Crivitz Takes Half Game Lead Into Final Week
* Bulldog Defense Upsets Clippers
* Bay Area Youth Rugby Expanding

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

Marinette Residents Seek Quiet from Train Whistles

The only discussion during Public Comment time at the start of the Marinette City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2 was in reference to proposed quiet zones in which blowing of train whistles would be prohibited in some or all parts of the city, as requested on petitions signed by hundreds of city residents. The gentleman reminded the Council that train whistles are intended to aid in the safety of traffic crossing railroad tracks.

Later in the meeting, however, the council initiated the process of establishing a train horn quiet zone by a unanimous vote authorizing an exploratory study. No money is to be spent at this point. The issue came up again at the Civic Affairs, Traffic and Lights and Cemetery Committee meeting at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, where it had started a month earlier in response to a petition presented by Betsy Jaeger of 1939 Stephenson Street.

At the Sept. 10 committee meeting, Jaeger, speaking on behalf of a dozen citizens present in favor of the quiet zone, stated most of the train traffic is between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., and it seems within the last three years the horns have been getting louder and louder. She and other residents had solicited petitions in support of the city implementing a quiet zone.

The committee was advised City Attorney Jonathan Sbar and Public Works Director Brian Miller had talked with a representative from the Federal Railroad Authority. They said the quiet zone was possible, but the process could take 18 to 24 months and many steps would have to take place. The committee asked Miller to determine the cost for the gates and if there were any grants that could be used to defray the cost. The committee on Sept. 10 also unanimously approved a recommendation to City Council that they be authorized to start the process to establish a Quiet Zone in the city. That recommendation was unanimously approved at the full Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2, but with a stipulation that no money be spent at this time, and not without some spirited discussion.

Alderman Brad Behrendt asked if they had ever seen an accident occur due to the malfunction of a train signal, and quiet zone proponent Alderman Dennis Colburn agreed he had. Behrendt wondered if they knew how much the city would be liable for if something like that were to happen, and Colburn replied they weren’t talking about insurance costs, they were talking about train whistles at 3 a.m.

Alderman Dave Buechler said engineers would still be allowed to blow their horns if a safety hazard was present.

Miller explained 69 communities in Wisconsin have established quiet zones, and explained the long and difficult process they would face to establish one.

Alderman Carol Kempka pointed out that Council approval of the committee’s recommendation would simply start the process of initiating a Quiet Zone, and there would be no costs to the city without further action.

When the matter was up for committee discussion again on Oct. 8, Miller provided the information requested at the Sept. 10 meeting. Members present were Colburn, Dorothy Kowalski, Scott Wahl and Chair Martha Karban, as well as Mayor Denise Ruleau. Buechler, a committee member, was absent.

Miller reported as he digs into the rules on quiet zones he finds more and more information on what’s involved, and assured them it will be a long process. There are two railroad right of ways in the city, one owned by E&LS and the other by Canadian National. Miller said federal agencies told him since two railroads are involved they cannot simply have a city-wide quiet zone. There are eight public crossings on the Canadian National in the city, of which seven are controlled with gates, lights and timed devices and one, Ella Court, is not.

He said next year E&LS plans to reconstruct a track segment from the main line to Marinette Marine and there are no lights, gates or constant warning devices at any of the eight crossings involved.

Cost to install gates, warning lights and timing devices is approximately $200,000 to $250,000 per crossing, and installation would be at city expense, a total of approximately $2 million if all crossings were taken care of. There’s no way we can afford that, he declared.

Just to put signals at the five crossings in the northwest corner of the city would cost about $1.5 million, Miller said. He presented charts showing how the city could be divided into four segments, each with its own quiet zone.

Dismayed by the thought of more trains through the city, a speaker objected, We don’t want more horns and whistles going off. We want less! He wondered if they could negotiate with the railroads.

It’s highly unlikely the railroad will dig into its own pockets for $2 million to defray the cost of those crossings, Miller replied.

Adopt a ‘can-do’ attitude and see what grants we can get to help pay for signals, the speaker urged.

Miller explained the E&LS project is 70 percent funded by a grant from the state, plus a local match of 30 percent.

Jaeger asked if the railroads pay for use of city property and was told they do not, they own all their right of way.

Miller explained more of the quiet zone rules, including an annual report after it is in effect comparing the quiet zone accident rates with accident rate averages at all crossings in the nation, as a means of measuring the safety of the crossings. To keep the quiet zone intact, the quiet zone index must be below the national average.

Miller said in view of some unique situations in Marinette, he has been advised they would do well to hire a consultant before proceeding too far. They would need to analyze the risks for each intersection and how the crossing works. In some cases improvements such as curbs, lane dividers and barriers to prevent traffic from getting into the crossing area from side streets would be required by the Federal Rail Administration (FRA).

A diagnostic team in the FRA will evaluate the plans and if they find them acceptable and rule that they meet the minimum standards, they would make an update on the national rail inventory. Once requirements are met, the city could have a quiet zone designation.

Karban commented that two aldermen have already said they will not vote for the quiet zone if there is a lot of money involved. She was told that DePere did their own quiet zone work, and so did Watertown, but that was before the rules got so strict. I would like to see us start this on our own and see how far we can get, she urged. Miller expressed doubt the Council understands the magnitude of the costs that will be involved in bringing the proposed project to reality.

Wahl suggested they try talking to the railroads to see if they can get their engineers to turn the whistles down a notch, or not blow them so long.

One of the handful of people present said the trains do not all go through the city with one long horn blast, and they do not all blow the whistles so long and loud. Noise limits are 96 to 110 decibels 100 feet in front of the train and 15 feet above the rail. Horns are not supposed to blow more than a quarter of a mile before they reach the crossing. Most of those present on the quiet zone quest felt the noise levels are greatly exceeded by some trains, but not by others.

They’re doing it (blowing the whistles) way more than they need to, Jaeger said. They don’t all do it, but the ones who do are driving people crazy!

There also were comments that trains have been clocked traveling through the city at 37 miles per hour. Menasha, by contrast, has a set speed limit of 12 miles per hour for trains.

Karban asked Attorney Sbar to draft a letter to the two railroads, asking them to be mindful of the decibel level on their horns and whistles.

Miller said the only alternative to adding signals and otherwise bringing the crossings up to standards would be to eliminate the unsignaled crossings, a solution the railroads always favor since every crossing they close reduces their liability. However, the city needs to consider access to neighborhoods, not only by residents, but also by law enforcement and emergency vehicles.

Kowalski moved to continue to explore the quiet zones on the main lines, and in the meantime, have Attorney Sbar write a letter to the railroads asking them to obey the laws as they pass through the city. That motion was unanimously approved. Sbar noted that the Council had allocated no money so far, and if they are to continue exploring the options there will be some costs involved.

The final item on the Oct. 8 committee agenda involved complaints about semi-truck traffic on Lester Street. Karban said she has been approached a number of times by people who tell her that three to 10 times each day semis traveling to the Kimberly Clark Paper Mill access it by way of Lester Street instead of taking the curve on Riverside Drive.

Miller suggested three solutions: First, get verification that it really is happening; second, contact the mill and ask for their help, and third, establish weight limits on Lester Street.

Karban said she asked the complainant to keep a log of the trucks, but was told he doesn’t want to get involved.

Karban said they will try to get more concrete information and follow up with it next month.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
02-14-2018Sports
Thunder on a Roll; Claim Four More Wins

02-14-2018Sports
Coleman Wins D3 Regional; Advance 12 to Sectional

02-14-2018Sports
Crivitz Takes Half Game Lead Into Final Week

02-14-2018Obituaries
Helen M. Yunke

02-14-2018Obituaries
Steven C. Wirtz

02-14-2018Obituaries
Robert Stevens

02-14-2018Obituaries
Kent W. Smith

02-14-2018Obituaries
Leo Schmidt

02-14-2018Obituaries
Lorraine T. Saltz

02-14-2018Obituaries
Edward Saltz

02-14-2018Obituaries
Sonja R. Ruechel

02-14-2018Obituaries
Elsward L. Guseck

02-14-2018Obituaries
Magdalen A. Giese

02-14-2018Obituaries
Jon Comeaux

02-14-2018Obituaries
Frances L. Bieber

02-14-2018Obituaries
Arlene J. Borchardt

02-14-2018Obituaries
Jean F. Angus

02-14-2018Obituaries
Henry J.Welsch

02-14-2018Obituaries
Helen M. Lynch

02-14-2018Sports
Bulldog Defense Upsets Clippers

02-14-2018Obituaries
Wayne R. Bender

02-14-2018Obituaries
Dorothy A. Sopkowicz-Tackes

02-14-2018Obituaries
June M. Prefontaine

02-14-2018Obituaries
Joanne Makowiecki

02-14-2018Obituaries
Elizabeth J. Kinsella

02-14-2018Obituaries
Michael J. Homa, Jr.

02-14-2018Obituaries
Douglas G. Elsner

02-14-2018Front Page
Arbor Village, Community Based Facility Now Open In Peshtigo

02-14-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

02-14-2018Perspectives
From our readers

02-14-2018Perspectives
From My Window

02-14-2018Front Page
County Looks At Abolishing Position of Elected Coroner

02-14-2018Front Page
Neumann Retiring After 32 Years As Track Coach

02-14-2018Front Page
Dept. Of Public Works Lists Equipment Needs

02-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Lions Club Flower Sale Coming Soon

02-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
St. Augustine Lenten Fish Fries

02-14-2018Front Page
Voters To Choose Candidates For Supreme Court On Feb. 20

02-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Lion's Club to Host 9-Pin Bowling Tourney

02-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive Set For February 19th

02-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Lake Noquebay Fish O Rama Feb. 24

02-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz To Host 3 on 3 Tournament

02-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Area Woman's Club Offers Scholarships

02-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Lions Host Wausaukee Lions

02-14-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Student Elected Region 3 FBLA Vice President

02-14-2018Community - Coleman
Foreigner Tribute Band at Equity Hall Feb. 16-17

02-14-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman K.C. Fish Fry Feb. 16

02-14-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman School District Child Development Days

02-07-2018Sports
Bay Area Youth Rugby Expanding

02-07-2018Sports
Frederickson's 3 Pointer Pushes Peshtigo Past Algoma

02-07-2018Sports
Crivitz Keeps One Game Lead; Marinette Upset by Lux-Casco

02-07-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

02-07-2018Perspectives
From our readers

02-07-2018Perspectives
From My Window

02-07-2018Obituaries
James H. Albrecht

02-07-2018Obituaries
Spencer Bichel

02-07-2018Obituaries
Merle D. Bishop

02-07-2018Obituaries
Helen M. Borths

02-07-2018Obituaries
Richard B. Burns

02-07-2018Obituaries
Thomas R. Dasko

02-07-2018Obituaries
Janet E. Dubey

02-07-2018Obituaries
Jody L. Enderby

02-07-2018Obituaries
Betty J. Engler

02-07-2018Obituaries
Dr. Gregory L. Evensen

02-07-2018Obituaries
Alvina B. Foley

02-07-2018Obituaries
Helen M. Lynch

02-07-2018Obituaries
Marie J. Motiff,

02-07-2018Obituaries
Judith A. Ondik

02-07-2018Obituaries
Sue A. Paro

02-07-2018Obituaries
Elmer H. Polzin

02-07-2018Obituaries
Ransom Rhode

02-07-2018Obituaries
Sarah A. Rust

02-07-2018Obituaries
Jeanette M. Snyder

02-07-2018Obituaries
Emmi L. Stratton

02-07-2018Obituaries
Donald Van Pay

02-07-2018Obituaries
Karen E. Bechtold

02-07-2018Obituaries
Floyd B. DeBauch

02-07-2018Obituaries
Dorothy L. Ferguson

02-07-2018Obituaries
Roger G. Gretzon

02-07-2018Obituaries
Sheila K. LaFortune

02-07-2018Obituaries
John E. Lemire

02-07-2018Obituaries
Michael J. Nelson

02-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Library Holds Fruit Sale

02-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Lions To Sell Flowers

02-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
St. Jude Bowl-A-Thon at Wausaukee Feb. 11

02-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Jr/Sr High List 2nd Quarter Honor Roll

02-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Craft-O-Rama at Crivitz Feb. 10

02-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion To Meet Feb. 21

02-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Ares Woman's Club Offers Scholarships

02-07-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Board Feb. 12

02-07-2018
Cougar Business Assoc. Annual Dinner Feb. 26th

02-07-2018Community - Coleman
Craft Show at Pound Feb. 10

02-07-2018Community - Coleman
Kickers Have Valentine Dance at Equity Hall

02-07-2018Front Page
Best of Cities

02-07-2018Front Page
Gov. Walker Joins Marinette Officials for WMCOE Opening

02-07-2018Front Page
Pound Village Board Hears School Referendum Report

02-07-2018Front Page
Village of Coleman President Praises Public Work Employees

02-07-2018Front Page
Peshtigo School Board Meets Monday, Feb. 12

01-31-2018Sports
UW-Marinette Finishes Busy Week With 2-1 Readout

01-31-2018Sports
Cougars Lead Area Teams at Pulaski Invite

01-31-2018Sports
Crivitz Falls to Oneida; M&O Lead Reduced to one half Game

01-31-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

01-31-2018Sports
Wolverines Cage Cougars; Take Sole Possession of First

01-31-2018Perspectives
From our readers

01-31-2018Perspectives
From My Window

01-31-2018Obituaries
Daniel Osmon, Sr.

01-31-2018Obituaries
Barbara J. Miller

01-31-2018Obituaries
Muriel R. Lippens

01-31-2018Obituaries
Ervin L. Limberg

01-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
Winners Listed at Silver Cliff Cards

01-31-2018Obituaries
Richard G. Kubichek Sr.

01-31-2018Obituaries
Ken Kowalkowski

01-31-2018Obituaries
Joseph A. Hatfield

01-31-2018Obituaries
Gerald L. Gehling

01-31-2018Obituaries
Virginia M. Diamond

01-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive Set For February 19th

01-31-2018Obituaries
Roseann Darga

01-31-2018Obituaries
Timothy W. Cox

01-31-2018Obituaries
Terrie L. Cornish

01-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
Message Community Church Has Bake Sale, Chili Dump

01-31-2018Obituaries
Connie L. Betzinger

01-31-2018Obituaries
Michael R. Alfredson

01-31-2018Obituaries
Liam M. Zahn

01-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
Marquette University Lists Area Graduates

01-31-2018Obituaries
Arlene J. Wagner

01-31-2018Obituaries
Mattie E. Strauss

01-31-2018Obituaries
Gary Smith

01-31-2018Obituaries
Jody A. Savage

01-31-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Board Hears State Spend Increase

01-31-2018Obituaries
Roger Lee Rupp

01-31-2018Obituaries
Susan C. Putnam

01-31-2018Obituaries
Daniel M. Payne

01-31-2018Obituaries
Glenn J. Magnin

01-31-2018
Craft-O-Rama at Crivitz Feb. 10

01-31-2018Obituaries
Carroll A. Dumke

01-31-2018Obituaries
Kaleb J. Case

01-31-2018Obituaries
Joyce C. Miller-Cardinal

01-31-2018Obituaries
Nancy A. Benson

01-31-2018Obituaries
Margaret R. Bellow

01-31-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz High School Lists 2nd Quarter Honor Roll

01-31-2018Community - Crivitz
Candlelight Ski, Hike at Thompson Park

01-31-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board Meets Feb. 5

01-31-2018Community - Coleman
Faith Christian School Lists Honor Roll, Perfect Attendance

01-31-2018Community - Coleman
Faith King is Student of Month

01-31-2018Front Page
Early Morning Fire Destroys Dun-Rite Asphalt Buildings

01-31-2018Front Page
Marinette Marine Seeks County Assist For Contract Opportunity

01-31-2018Front Page
Fire Destroys Old Knitting Mill Building In Marinette

01-31-2018Front Page
County Tourism Promotion Services Remain Unsettled

01-31-2018Front Page
Peshtigo City Council To Meet February 6

01-24-2018Obituaries
Donald J. Bahrke

01-24-2018Obituaries
Floyd C. Beyer


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Should President Trump cut back on the amount of tweets he makes?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2018
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites