Digest: Reading & Northern files suit over stormwater fees

News Wire Digest for Aug. 31: White Pass & Yukon may lose waterfront access in Skagway; Sacramento unveils plan for station project
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Monday morning rail news:

Reading & Northern sues over stormwater fees

The Reading & Northern is suing a regional sanitary agency in Pennsylvania, seeking to avoid paying a stormwater fee enacted in 2019. The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports the suit, filed in the Luzerne County Court of Common Please, argues that six of the railroad’s properties should not be subject to the fee from the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority because they fall outside “urbanized” areas — those with more than 1,000 residents required to have municipal storm sewer systems. The railroad argues the authority has “no legal or regulatory basis” to charge the fee outside urbanized area. The authority said in a statement that it “intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit.” The Luzerne County Citizens’ Voice lists the properties and fees in question.

White Pass & Yukon could lose waterfront access in Skagway, seeks 'mutually beneficial solution'
Narrow gauge tourist line White Pass & Yukon may lose its waterfront access to cruise ships at the Skagway, Alaska, port, as mining interests seek to gain more access to the port. Alaska public broadcaster KTOO reports the White Pass & Yukon’s waterfront lease expires in 2023, and an initial bid to renew the lease was rejected by the municipal attorney. A representative of the Yukon Producers’ Group, which represents regional mining interests, told KTOO that Skagway’s port is “strategic and useful” for reaching international markets because sailing times to Asian markets are considerably shorter. WP&Y President Bob Berto subsequently told city officials in a letter that the railroad would like to find a “mutually beneficial solution to port governance and management.”

Sacramento unveils plans for new train station
Sacramento, Calif., has unveiled plans for a new train, bus, and transit depot at a 17-acre downtown site which includes the city’s current Amtrak station. The Sacramento Bee reports costs have yet to be determined for the plan, which could also include a hotel and other private development projects in the area linking downtown and the redevelopment of The Railyards project on land formerly occupied by a Southern Pacific yard. It would incorporate the current station, opened by SP in 1926 and purchased by the city in 2006. The development is projected to occur in stages as funding is obtained.


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