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Posted: April 29, 2009 12:01 a.m.

Our Thoughts... Buying the rails

The city and county governments recently held a joint session to discuss, among other things, the purchase of railroad right away and lines from Norfolk Southern.

 NS has said it was willing to sell its entire 27-mile line from Porterdale to Shady Dale for $3.1 million dollars; our thought is that Norfolk Southern really must be through with this line or this wouldn’t be offered at any price. We feel the asking price could be reduced considerably with some good negotiations.

 Although we would like to see the line purchased, but not any price, we recognize the tight budgetary constraints our local governments, especially the county government, are working under currently

 When we think of this possible purchase, we can only hark back to our times as a youngster, when our parents could have bought some beachfront land for $5 down and $5 dollars per month.

 This land later became worth millions. When asked why our parents didn’t buy this property, the answer was: we didn’t have $5 down and $5 a month.

 We think this property is worth the gamble for the residents of our county, but if you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money.

 We urge both governments to keep this project on the front burner and keep exploring and discussing practical ways to purchase it now, especially during this downswing in property prices.

 In a related matter, we praise the efforts of the elected officials of the city and county to work together on this project and others.

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