|SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT|
|WISCONSIN CENTRAL LTD.--ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION--IN BROWN COUNTY, WIS.|
|Director Of Proceedings|
|DECISION GRANTED A REQUEST TO EXTEND THE NOTICE OF INTERIM TRAIL USE OR ABANDONMENT NEGOTIATION PERIOD TO SEPTEMBER 15, 2011.|
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|Full Text of Decision|
41462 SERVICE DATE – LATE RELEASE MARCH 17, 2011
SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD
Docket No. AB 303 (Sub-No. 20X)
WISCONSIN CENTRAL LTD.–ABANDONMENT
EXEMPTION–IN BROWN COUNTY, WIS.
Decided: March 16, 2011
On November 17, 1999, a decision and notice of interim trail use or abandonment (NITU) was served authorizing a 180-day period for the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WisDNR) to negotiate an interim trail use/rail banking agreement with Wisconsin Central Ltd. (WCL) for a 1.63-mile line of railroad between milepost 198.37 and milepost 200 in Green Bay, Brown County, Wis. The negotiating period under the NITU was extended several times for the portion of the right-of-way from milepost 198.37 to milepost 199.84. The negotiation period under the NITU expired on February 23, 2010. On March 24, 2010, a NITU was served, which authorized a 180-day period for the City of Green Bay (Green Bay) to negotiate an interim trail use/rail banking agreement with WCL for the right-of-way involved in this proceeding for portion of the line between mileposts 198.37 and 199.84. A decision, served on September 17, 2010, extended the negotiation period until March 19, 2011.
On February 23, 2011, WisDNR on behalf of Green Bay filed a motion for an extension of the NITU negotiating period with respect to the portion of the line between mileposts 198.37 and 199.84 for an additional 180 days. WisDNR states that negotiations are ongoing in good faith, and WisDNR has approved funding for this project and is currently examining two appraisals to determine the allocation amount. On February 24, 2011, WCL filed its response stating that it is agreeable to the requested extension of Green Bay’s negotiation period under the NITU.
The negotiation period under the NITU will be extended for an additional 180 days to September 15, 2011. An extension of the negotiation period will promote the establishment of trails and rail banking consistent with the National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1247(d) (Trails Act). The purpose of the Trails Act is to preserve corridors for possible reactivation of rail service by permitting and encouraging their interim use as recreational trails. See Policy Statement on Rails to Trails Conversion, Ex Parte No. 274 (Sub-No. 13B) (ICC served Feb. 5, 1990).
This decision will not significantly affect either the quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy resources.
It is ordered:
1. Green Bay’s request to extend the NITU negotiation period is granted.
2. The negotiation period under the NITU is extended to September 15, 2011, for the portion of the right-of-way between milepost 198.37 and milepost 199.84.
3. This decision is effective on its service date.
By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.