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Neighbors discuss concerns and alternatives to new rail yard

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) – People in the Rompot neighborhood of Southeast Cedar Rapids met Wednesday night at the Indian Creek Nature Center to discuss their concerns, and alternatives to a proposed rail yard in their neighborhood.

“This neighborhood feels like it’s going to be invaded with a rail yard,” Rick Stanek of Cedar Rapids said. “There’s things to talk about, there’s things to figure out.”

Cargill Corn Milling is trying to add a new rail yard between Otis Road and the Prairie Park Fishery. The City Planning Commission recommended the plan to city council at its July 18th meeting; for its possible impact on the local economy.

Kerry Sanders, the president of Build Trails, Not Rails, said he invited Cargill employees to Wednesday’s meeting but no one showed up.

So, more than 50 residents talked amongst themselves about the values of their homes, noise and impacts on the environment.

Sanders told the group why he believes Cargill should be considering a plot of city-owned land adjacent to Cargill’s plant along the Cedar River; instead of the one in Rompot.

In the past, Cargill has said the Rompot land is the only suitable spot for the yard.

Cargill’s plan is on the city council agenda for August 27.

The planning commission required Cargill to host four more community meetings, it says the first is tentatively scheduled for early September.

Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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