The La Crescent City Council voted unanimously Monday to send a Notice of Intent to Canadian Pacific Railway informing them of the city’s desire to create a quiet zone at the Main Street crossing.
The plan, if successful, would mean trains passing through the crossing would no longer have to sound their whistles, as they must at present because of federal regulations. Establishing the quiet zone would require safety upgrades to the crossing that have yet to be detailed. The process is governed by the Federal Railroad Aministration.
“Ultimately it’s FRA’s decision as to what protection is needed at a crossing before engineers are to stop sounding their horns,” said Canadian Pacific spokesman Andy Cummings Tuesday. “We work in an advisory role in this process, providing detailed information about the crossing and drawing up designs for signal systems, that will assist in moving the process forward.”
However, Cummings noted that if the FRA does allow a quiet zone to be established train crews could still sound their horns for a variety of reasons, including the presence of workers near the track, trespassers, motorists engaging in unsafe behavior or wildlife on the tracks.
La Crescent’s proposed quiet zone project also includes an option for installing a gate for the recycling center which would operate one weekday and Saturday. The gate would be located on the west side of the tracks and locked when not in use.
In other business at Monday’s council meeting the council passed its first annual polling place designation. Precinct 1 will use the La Crescent County Building 336 First St. Precincts 2 and 3 will use the La Crescent Ice Arena, 520 S. 13th Street and mailed ballots for Winona County can be sent to the City of La Crescent, 315 Main St. The council approved the polling places in response to a new State requirement that municipalities annually designate polling places,
In preparation for the Board of Appeal and Equalization in April, Minnesota requires at least one Board member of a municipality to be certified in State training. Ryan Hutchinson, Dale Williams and Mayor Mike Poellinger volunteered to take the training.