Railroad could divide town

Published 5:36 am Wednesday, March 16, 2005

By by Mary-Allison Lancaster
CSX is considering closing the only north-south crossing in Flomaton, which crosses at Palafox Street and heads into downtown Flomaton. Merchants are concerned the closing will deter commerce in the downtown area.
During Monday morning's County Commission meeting, commissioners agreed with merchant concerns and decided to side with concerned merchants. The only other north-south crossing in town is the Highway 29 overpass, which would inevitably decrease the influx of traffic that typically heads into the downtown area.
"The city has gone on record as opposing it…and the County Commission is supporting the town," Chairman Larry White said. "It's a major inconvenience to the people and an economic downturn for Flomaton."
According to County Administrator Tony Sanks, CSX is proposing the closure of the crossing in an attempt to utilize the adjoining rail yard as a storage area for boxcars. He added that merchants are concerned the closing will negatively impact the businesses located in the downtown area.
While the County has no authority to stop the closure of the crossing, Sanks said a copy of the commission's resolution will be forwarded to CSX. While it has not been confirmed, Sanks added that the assistance of State Representative Skippy White could be used to influence CSX to reconsider its plans.
In other County news, Chairman Sam Johns was reappointed to the Ridge Road Water Authority.

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