Superior Councilor Works To Reinstate BNSF Payments To Allouez Homeowners
Homeowners who live in Superior's Allouez neighborhood will have clean houses again - or at least the funding to make sure it happens. BNSF Railway has reinstated plans to provide funding for claims from property owners to clean the taconite dust off of their dwellings. A finalized agreement hasn't been reached, but the company is telling news sources that they "plan...to restore payments for property owners' claims".
A long-standing unwritten agreement that provided funding from BNSF Railway to property owners to clean up taconite dust off their dwellings was dropped earlier this year. Since that time, Superior City Councilor Jenny Van Sickle has worked hard to rally the cause for the neighborhood. Allouez is part of her district.
Along the way, the city councilor collected information and stories from residents of Allouez, sought help from state and national leaders, and helped broker the negotiations between the residents and the railroad. Van Sickle shared:
"I am pleased to announce that after months of conversations, we have achieved a positive and reasonable solution with the BNSF regarding taconite dust abatements."
Generally speaking, the agreement doesn't hinge between the city and the railroad; rather - the agreement is between BNSF and the individual property owners. However - at their last meeting - the Superior City Council did approve a resolution seeking restoration of the process that used to exist to help homeowners clean the taconite dust from their homes.
BNSF Railway issued a statement about the agreement from their vantage point - a message that also reaffirmed the deal. Courtney Wallace, a BNSF Railway spokesperson shared:
"BNSF has always wanted to work closely with our neighbors near our Allouez facility. We're still finalizing details; however, our intent is to ensure that property owners in the impacted area are compensated accordingly. We appreciate the partnership with city leadership."
To get reimbursement, individual property owners would submit claims directly to BNSF Railway for payment.