8/29/2014 10:02:00 AM Council voices concerns over ZipRail
by Ken Haggerty
The Cannon Falls city council at its August 19 meeting directed economic development director Dave Maroney to express its concerns to MnDOT planners on the proposed ZipRail high speed railroad between the Twin Cities and Rochester.
Mayor Robby Robinson said he sees no benefit to Cannon Falls as the project is being proposed (no stops between the Cities and Rochester, new corridors with limited crossings developed along either Hwy. 56 or Hwy. 52 rather than in existing corridors with multiple crossings).
Robinson said the money is better spent on improving existing roads and infrastructure. Council member Morris Mattson agreed with Robinson's comments.
Council member Bill Duncan said the city EDA committee had a similar consensus that it does absolutely nothing for Cannon Falls. He noted it could result in very restricted east-west travel due to closings of road crossings along the rail corridor. Duncan said existing school district boundaries may change due to bus routes having to be redrawn.
Council member LeRoy McCusker said he was disappointed in the manner this proposal was being handled. He said he felt it was being attempted to be pushed through by proponents in Rochester and Olmsted County without any concerns to those who are impacted along the corridor. McCusker and council member Merlyce Johnson said the safety of the rail and the impact on emergency vehicle response times are also issues of concern.