Monday, April 22nd, 2024 Church Directory
GOV. MARK DAYTON was joined by local elected and public safety officials to announce his railway safety proposal last Friday.

Gov. Dayton Proposes Railway Safety Improvements To Include Becker, Clear Lake And Big Lake

Every day, trains carrying oil and other hazardous materials pass through Minnesota. 
 
These trains present real risks to public safety and the state’s natural resources. 
 
That is why Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposal presented March 13 calls for strategic investments in Minnesota rail safety improvements, to ensure the safety of Minnesotans living near railroads carrying hazardous materials. 
 
That proposal affects those in the Becker, Clear Lake and Big Lake communities as well as Elk River, Annandale and Buffalo.
 
The Governor’s proposal would fund 75 priority railway safety infrastructure improvements if passed this session.
 
Gov. Dayton’s railway safety proposal would invest $330 million over the next 10 years in the construction of safer railroad crossings across Minnesota and provide additional bonding dollars to fund four major grade separations in Coon Rapids, Moorhead, Prairie Island, and Willmar. The plan would implement new quiet zones in communities located along busy rail lines, provide better training for emergency managers and first responders, and hire a new rail office director who would position the state to play a larger role in addressing freight rail service and safety issues throughout the state.
 
If passed, Gov. Dayton’s plan would also provide local governments the resources they need to respond to local infrastructure needs caused by increased railway traffic. By modernizing property taxes paid by railroads, the proposal would provide $45 million every year for cities, counties, and townships to fund their own local priority rail infrastructure improvements. 
 
“Over the last year, I have traveled across Minnesota and seen firsthand the very serious and costly challenges that increased rail traffic have thrust upon our communities,” said Gov. Dayton. “Minnesotans did not cause these disruptions; they are not responsible for the endless barrage of dangerous cargo being shipped through their communities every day. The railroads responsible for these problems have a responsibility to pay for these essential safety improvements.”
 
These needed improvements would build on new railway safety measures implemented last year by Gov. Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature. Those efforts required railroad companies to submit disaster prevention and emergency plans to the State, increased the number of rail inspectors at MnDOT, required railroads to respond to derailments or spills of hazardous cargos within a specified timeframe, and provided additional emergency response training for local police and fire departments, and other first responders in Minnesota.