Quiet zone action urged
Monday, November 11, 2013 6:00 PM
MARINETTE - Several Marinette residents voiced their opinions on the issue of the quiet zone at Monday's Civic Affairs, Cemetery, Traffic & Lights Committee meeting. Most were disgruntled at the apparent lack of action by the city council to move forward on the project.
"We feel that now is the time to resolve this issue," said Dan Everson.
A quiet zone would restrict the blowing of train whistles as they approach an intersection. The current rule for locomotive engineers is to blow the train whistle at least 15 seconds, but not more than 20 seconds before the intersection.
Michael Pallid mentioned the noise from the trains have gotten worse since he has lived at his address.
"I really think this (implementing a quiet zone) is essential to improving the quality of life for these residents," he said. "This is wrecking our sleep and, consequentially, our productivity the next day."
According to committee member Martha Karban, the city was approached by residents about creating a quiet zone in Marinette in September 2012. A study was taken of the eight railroad intersections from Riverside Avenue to Carney Avenue in January and the results were presented to the city council in March.
"This was started 14 months ago," resident Betsy Jaegar said. "I thought we'd be further along than this. We would like to see some steps taken. It just doesn't feel like the council understands or respects our issues."
Committee member Dorothy Kowalski refuted those claims saying, "It's not a matter of respecting the residents. We do and we definitely understand. We're not trying to push you off. There are just other things to deal with."
A number of budget items were cited by committee member Dennis Colburn, such as the recreation building, police department and several street projects that require attention, but the city does not have the money to address them at this time.
"The bottom line is, we didn't not do anything," Colburn said. "This is something we have to fit into a fragile budget. I've said from the beginning that this is a fragile budget and we have several things already on the list that we can't afford to address. We need to figure this mess out before we do anything."
The committee voted to recommend to the city council to start implementing construction projects required to make the railroad intersections safer before applying for a quiet zone. Committee members Shirley Kaufman and Colburn voted against the motion while David Buechler, Kowalski and Karban voted for it.
"We need to take small steps forward, otherwise it is too easy to keep putting it off," Karban said.
Another issue discussed at Monday's meeting was the agreement between the City of Marinette and Holy Family Parish regarding Woodlawn Cemetery. The agreement basically outlines where the boundaries are for the Catholic and non-Catholic portions of the cemetery, as well as what each party's responsibilities are. The city is now only responsible for the cleanup of fallen branches and leaves and the cutting of the lawn.
The committee also voted to remove the white posts that are lined along the gravel access road that crosses between the Catholic and non-Catholic portions of the cemetery. All committee members except Kaufman voted against removing the posts.