Council votes against whistle ban
The whistle will continue to blow through Innisfail. Council resolved not to pursue a whistle cessation initiative with Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. during the July 9 meeting.
Council recently met with a spokesperson from CPR to discuss options for stopping trains from blowing their whistles when they come through town. The meeting was launched after several people in town voiced concerns that the whistle was too loud. Council was told they would be able to use a 2007 draft safety assessment as part of their application to CPR to support whistle cessation.
Numbers from the report come in at $1 million for the necessary upgrades to the five crossings in town.
Helen Dietz, chief administrative officer told council even if they were to go ahead with the process, final approval would still have to come from Transport Canada.
Coun. Mark Kemball inquired how much taxes would have to go up to come up with the money in one year and was told 15 per cent. He also asked if there were any grants available and Mayor Jim Romane said he was under the impression from the meeting with the CPR that the town was “on their own.”
“I’m trying to see if it makes dollars and cents,” said Kemball, adding that any money that would be used for upgrades is tied up for the next three years with the downtown revitalization project.
“I think it’s nice to have but at what cost? At this time it’s not high enough of a priority,” he concluded.
Coun. Jason Heistad said his biggest issue was with safety. He referenced a recent train crash in Bowden July 6 where a train collided with a one-ton 2011 Ford truck as a reason why he felt whistles are so important.
“I’m equally concerned with safety,” said Romane. “There is support on both sides from the vocal community,” he said adding he wasn’t sure how the majority of the public felt.
“There’s not enough support at this time to justify (moving forward).”