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“The Port of Olympia Commission and its staff came to Yelm last week for the first of several planned meetings around the county.

During the meeting, Yelm City Administrator Shelly Badger and Yelm Mayor Ron Harding talked about the progress of the Yelm Prairie Rail Line project, currently held up as city officials seek funding.

The 4.5 mile rail line, which spans from Yelm to Roy, was purchased for $300,000 from Burlington Northern Santa Fe in 1999.

The line is out of use, Badger said, until an operator controls the rail and customers are lined up to use the rail.

The best way for this to happen, she said, is to connect the rail line to Tacoma Rail and possibly contract with them to operate it.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe is unlikely to operate the line because they hold an emphasis on large volumes and products, and are not designed to serve smaller lines and businesses, she said.

City officials have requested $3.5 million from the state for line construction, line refurbishment and right-of-way acquisition.

However, the State Senate and House of Representatives have each released their 2007 transportation budget with no new projects listed, Badger said.

‘We are still trying other avenues to try and get funding this legislative session'”

One of these avenues is working with U.S. Congressman Adam Smith…

The rail line is needed to promote economic development in Yelm, Badger said.

‘Connection is critical to development,’ she said.

‘If we want to get rail dependent businesses into Yelm, they need that connection,'” quoting the Nisqually Valley News.

What do you think of the City requesting $3.5 million in funds to upgrade a rail line for light-industry development?

How do you feel about the City of Yelm now going for industrial development without the proper highway infrastructure to support those working here already, as is seen any day now with our traffic?

How do you feel about your tax dollars being requested for rail line improvements on SPECULATION that the City would even attract any industry here? And, if not, your moeny sits idle in those tracks, as $300,000 of your money has been now decaying for several years while the tracks deteriorate?

What do you think about the proposals floated to have busses come to Yelm from Lacey & Olympia to connect to a passenger rail line from here to Tacoma? [Ed. Note: Something that would take users 30-45 minutes longer than going direct from the Olympia area.]

How do you feel about City Council officials continuing to attend regional transportation meetings touting a Yelm bus/rail connection from Olympia to Tacoma when our city’s streets are already choked with traffic?

It’s your money, it’s your town.

Going to continue the silence?

Posted by Steve on April 12, 2007 at 6:08 am | Permalink

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  1. As far as I can understand the Yelm Comprehensive Plan has no sewage, no water, no roads and no funds. How will industrial development and Olympia Port transport be of benefit to taxpayers in a residential community when there are so many unresolved issues before the Mayor? The industrial zone already includes Rhoton Sewage Facility and LASCO. The Killion Road connection and LID so far do not seem to solve any problems. I’m sure alot of people have questions if they felt free to express them. It would be of benefit to the Community if the Mayor would meet with them.

    Comment by Gail Cane on April 10, 2007 at 9:06 am

  2. $600,000 (for a water study for a private development)
    +$300,000 (buying a railraod tack)
    This adds up to questionable local leadership banking on pie-in-the-sky contracts.

    Comment by Jean Handley on April 12, 2007 at 11:15 pm

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