Wind Distribution Center Dominates Marysville Council Special Meeting Tuesday

The Marysville City Council held a Special Meeting Tuesday to hear public comment on a wind distribution center proposed by the Union Pacific Railroad for the Marysville yards. The rail to truck transition facility would be located on U.P. owned property, with access requested on the Seventh Street corridor north of U.S. Highway 36. They’re requesting a 70’ width to Carolina Street to accommodate wide turns, then 35’ width from Carolina north. The Union Pacific would grade the area, and provide asphalt millings to control dust. The access would be for an initial period through 2021. Doug Graham, who had made a previous presentation at the last council meeting, highlighted the economic impact, and pointed again toward the success of a similar operation at Liberal. He assured good communication with the city in coordinating when loads would be going in and out. During transition periods, he anticipated no more than 30 truckloads per day in and out.

The City Attorney suggested that the council only gather public information, and ask questions at Wednesdays meeting. A memorandum of understanding outlining details was presented, and will be considered further at another Special Council Meeting this Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Randy Brown, representing the Blue River Rail Trail expressed his groups hope to connect the trail to downtown Marysville on the east side of Union Pacific property extending south from the current trail head. The group has been negotiating acquisition of the nine acres for the past five years. Brown highlighted the economic and social impact of the trail, adding to quality of life for residents and tourists. Asking that the railroad deed that property to the city in exchange for cooperation in developing the wind distribution center, Brown was advised by Graham that his division had no control over Union Pacific real estate. The trails group has identified a 14’ path from Calhoun Street south, along the Historic Depot platform and connecting downtown as part of the route.

Bruce Dierking with the Historic Union Pacific Depot Railroad Preservation Society asked the council consider extending the west property line an additional 14’, which would accommodate the trail. The current lot lines are in the middle of the brick platform, which was not discovered until asphalt was removed. An offer by the railroad to move the city owned caboose, which sits on the west side of north Seventh Street would be acceptable with the group, who suggested that it be located immediately north of the Historic Depot. Moving the steam engine from the City Park at this time does not appear feasible, without damage to the adjacent tennis courts.

Kevin Crome with Crome Lumber, who has purchased lots just west of Seventh Street asked that the city honor his right of first refusal to purchase additional lots to the north. Ellen Barber with Marshall County Partnership for Growth spoke briefly, and indicated that while promoting economic development was critical, it is also essential that existing businesses and residents along the route be considered.