Railroad or no railroad? Fate still up in air

NORWICH – Discussions continued this month between Chenango County and New York Susquehanna & Western Railway executives as local economic developers struggled to hang onto railway service through the county seat.

“This is just one more thing on our plate of infrastructure offerings to industry that if we would lose, would knock us out to potential development,” Commerce Chenango President Maureen Carpenter said Wednesday.

Three options developed as a result of the meeting April 3. NYS&W was asked to consider: Making the estimated $400,000 in track repairs to restore service from Sherburne to Binghamton, to consider leaving the 12 miles of service from Norwich to Sherburne open if the line were to be abandoned, or to donate the property to a local organization hoping to convert it into a pedestrian trail.

The NYS&W has had a payment-in-lieu of taxes contract with the Chenango County Industrial Development Agency since 1982. The current PILOT was finalized in 2002 and expires in 2012. NYS&W can nullify the agreement with the IDA and take back its property at any time, Carpenter said.

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