By Bruce F. Griffin

Medina Gazette

February 24, 2005

MEDINA - Gates and warning lights at three Wheeling and Lake Erie railroad crossings could have tracked into county coffers for more than $207,000.

Grants from private foundations and increased funding from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio dropped that cost to a mere $52.14, which Sharon Township will pick up.

That was the bottom line after county Commissioner Pat Geissman, chair of the Medina County Railroad Safety Task Force, secured an additional $59,903.26 from the PUCO.

Work on lights and gates at the crossing Geissman considers the most dangerous—Garman Road in Westfield Township—is complete.

Geissman said she hopes to schedule a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the crossing to mark the completed project.

Records she provided—correspondence with Leah Thomas-Dalton, chief of the PUCO’S Railroad Division—put the cost of installing Garman Road lights and gates at $176,598.

The other crossings are on Beach Road in Sharon Township and Branch Road in York Township. At $293,032, the Beach Road crossing is the most expensive. In addition to lights and gates, the project includes replacing concrete culverts on either side to stop water from undermining the crossing.

Cost of gates and warning lights at Branch Road is pegged at $185,989.85.

Geissman said work on the two crossings should be complete by April.

Wheeling and Lake Erie pays 10 percent of the entire cost, the PUCO pays 65 percent of the remaining 90 percent, and the rest is shared by the county and townships.

Geissman said the increased funding upped the PUCO’s contribution to 75 percent.

Geissman secured an additional $70,000 from two private foundations--$40,000 from Angels on Track Foundation and $30,000 from the North American Railroad Foundation.

She said that left $52.14 in uncovered costs for the Beach Road crossing, for which, she added, township Trustee Emil Bolas said the township would be willing to write a check.

(NOTE – The Angels on Track Foundation awarded three Reimbursement Grants to Medina County for railroad crossing upgrades: $40,000- Beach Road; $40,000-Branch Road; and $37,462.50-Garman for a total grant amount $117,462.50)


©2006 The Angels on Track Foundation. All rights reserved. | Trademark & Copyright Notice | Site Map