Swanton Council passes resolution opposing staging yard

Swanton area residents and officials continue to push back against a Norfolk Southern Corp. staging yard on the east end of the village. Swanton Village Council on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution in opposition to the project, becoming the latest governmental body to do so.

Work is underway on the site, that stretches from about Hallett Avenue to between Scott and Wilkins roads.

The resolution cited several of council’s concerns with the staging yard, including property value decreases, pollution, and a negative impact on emergency services.

“The proposed staging yard poses a serious threat to the health, safety and welfare of village and county residents,” the resolution read.

It said an increase in blocked crossing would impact “the ability of law enforcement and emergency medical services to adequately respond to dispatched calls.”

Also mentioned in the resolution were anticipated increased costs for emergency departments, at taxpayer expense, due to the staging yard.

The resolution also cited the deep opposition within the community and that the council has many unanswered questions while Norfolk Southern continues to move forward with the project.

“The proposed staging yard will not benefit the residents of the village or county but will merely transfer coal trains through Lucas and Fulton counties to an end user in the State of Michigan,” said the resolution.

Swancreek Township and the Swanton Board of Education also recently passed resolutions.

“We’re dissappointed that they we were passed,” said Dave Pidgeon, Norfolk Southern public relations manager. “Despite them being passed our door is open… Just like we do in other comunities we want to work with the residents in Swanton.”