Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Choo Choo Choo-o-o-o-o

November 5th, 2008

Choo, Choo, Choo –o-o-o-o

Okay folks, everyone that knows that there is a railroad in Southeast South Dakota and Northwest Iowa called the D& I Railroad raise their hands. Well guess what, the home office is in Sioux Falls. There was a conference in Sioux Falls last Thursday hosted by Hyperion Resources and one of the things that came out of this meeting was that Hyperion has been in contact with D & I railroad to build a railroad spur to the Hyperion site which will connect to the D & I line that runs from Sioux Falls to Sioux City. Looking at the map, one can see that it runs from Sioux Falls through Hawarden, Chatsworth, Akron, Westfield and then to Elk Point and Sioux City. There is a spur that runs from Beresford to Hawarden. It would be a piece of cake for D & I to build a spur that connects to the regular line. Or, they could build a spur from Akron to Spink. Or, they could build it from Elk Point to Spink. Or?
I called the D & I on Friday and asked them about their discussions with Hyperion and building a line. They would not comment other than the fact they have had talks with Hyperion about the rail line. I asked the company if they have seen Hyperion’s financial report. The owner said “well, I’ve seen part of it.” I cannot believe what is happening here folks. I mentioned last week or the week before about CRWS and comparing financial status and they hadn’t seen anything, now here we are with a railroad operating in this part of the state and they don’t ask questions either. I just cannot figure this out. Evidently I come from a different breed of stock. I would use President Regan’s philosophy. “Trust but verify.”
I’m not sure I was talking to the owner of the railroad, but I asked a man named Jack if they had been to the register of deeds office and looked at using easements that are on file to run the spur for Hyperion. He said he wasn’t aware of any easements but would probably check into it. Well folks, I highly doubt that the railroad doesn’t know every detail about this area and if they don’t plan on using easements that have been in place from the 1800’s, there is only 2 things they can do to build a spur; purchase easements for the railroad or (here it comes again!) use Eminent Domain.
I think I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but I swear this part of the county is about to get screwed Big Time! Everywhere one turns there are more things popping up than you can shake a stick at. Water, power, railroads, new roads - - what’s next? This is starting to sound like something out of the “Twilight Zone.” Better yet, if you look at the map for the railroad, we are in the Bermuda Triangle. This whole part of the country is getting boxed in, and I for one don’t like it one little bit. Before this is all said and done, the state will have taken all of Union County and turned it into the Hyperion Energy Center. For those of you who are for this venture and aren’t concerned because it isn’t in your backyard, I would suggest that you start looking over your shoulder. This is beginning to get really scary, and Halloween was last week.
I’m sure that by now everyone is tired of hearing the word NIMBY. My question to you now is how much territory does NIMBY cover? Should the railroad build a spur, which direction would they come from? The south? The north? Suddenly an area that was only 3000+ acres is covering 50 square miles. I would think that everyone from Elk Point to Spink and from Beresford to Spink would want to start thinking that this spur could come right through their property and there isn’t a damned thing you can do about it. Still want a refinery here? This is like a cancer. It will grow uncontrollably and there isn’t anything you can do about it. If you think what I am writing was meant to scare you into action, you’re right. This refinery is not going to go away any time soon, and it is going to negatively affect everyone in this area whether you like it or not. There might be economic development but at what cost. Is it a cost you are willing to bear or are people just thinking since they aren’t directly involved it is no big deal.
The deadline for submitting comments to DENR is the 14th of November. If you haven’t been to the website yet, I would highly suggest that you do so. There are some very good comments that have been sent in and is definitely good food for thought. I would suggest that everyone submit another letter requesting that when they hold the public hearing that it be done in this area so that everyone will have a chance to participate. It would be a shame if the only public hearing was held in Pierre. This is something that is going to affect this area for a lifetime and we need to be fully aware of what is happening.


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