SAVANNAH, Ga. – After years of complaints and frustrations, Garden City neighbors received an update and a forward plan from elected leaders concerning train blockage.
For months, WSAV has reported on cars being stuck on roads and in neighborhoods for hours because trains, more recently CSX trains, have been left for hours on the tracks. Neighbors
Monday’s Garden City’s City Council Meeting began with Mayor Ron Bethune called the blockage, “a public safety issue.” He told the crowd, which a majority of those in attendance were for train purposes, that while Garden City has a limited ability to control the trains, it continued to do everything it can to promote safety for its residents.
After his statement, he opened the floor up for public comment. Several people spoke about the need to hold CSX accountable to current laws and regulations that states a train can only be idle for 10 minutes before the company could face fines and citations.
Georgia Representative Carl Gilliard attended the meeting. After listening to neighbors, he told the people and the council, that he is completely for holding CSX accountability, which means potentially passing state legislation to see that commitment of loyalty come to fruition.
“I wave my hand tonight to say that we will take the responsibility that we can. I will propose a local legislation on the local calendar to look at trying to do something to put the pressure on the means of how the railroads are able to operate,” Gilliard said.
Natalyn Morris says she missed her niece’s funeral because a train blocked the road she was traveling on for two hours.After hearing about the mayor’s and Gilliard’s efforts and commitment to future action, she told News 3 she was thankful but not letting anyone off the hook.
“Continue to work, but let’s see some results,” she said.
Gilliard told News 3 he plans on meeting with the state’s legal team in Atlanta on Friday to begin the process of drafting a bill for the state assembly.