Thursday, September 20, 2007

T.R.A.I.N. Meeting was a joke!!

So there was another t.r.a.i.n meeting last night at the Robert Green Auditorium at Vincennes Universtity last night. We were told that the petition would be there and so we went. With no other goal than to sign the petition. Turns out that the petition was MIA and this was not a meeting where they wanted opinions, instead just support. It was a joke. They had the auditorium broken up into stations and you had to visit each station and then fill out a questionaire at the end that left no room for protest, just support. This meeting was not meant for us country folk that want to keep our homes. Instead it was meant for the city people that, after purchasing their home next to a railroad track, have decided they don't want to live next to one. They were pointing out the benefits and there were many upset people. One had owned his property for nearly 60 years and they couldn't tell him anything other than "we are considering the community as a whole". There was a homeowner in the paper today that stated they owned their home in town for 30 years. Their house is near a set of tracks that was there when they bought the property. They feel they shouldn't have to live next to the nusiance of the trains any more. HUH?? They chose their home next to a railroad and have lived there for 30 years. We chose to live in the country no where near a track and now they want to put one there and we are told to deal with it. Makes no sense. And we saw the advisory board...15 farmers, 15 teachers and a lot of city people. Not one actual rural homeowner anywhere. I really think thats not fair. We should have a say too, not just the farmers and people who live in town!

There is one other option that they are not even wanting to talk about...overpasses. This was supposed to be studied too, and not one person last night really wanted to talk about it. An evironmental scientist was actually trying to tell a rural homeowner that its actually better for the environment to remove all these houses and all the farm land and some creeks than it would be to have the tracks in town. Thats insane...I bet they pay her a lot, because I can't see any way that all the construction and destruction can be good in any way!

We are looking into the possibility of applying for National Historic Register for our home. It should be there any way, and if we can get it then we will be saving our historic home, along with a lot of other homes because they would not be able to build the track here.

A little note...we are in a potential (and the most likely) corridor for the new tracks. If they do this, we (along with hundreds of others) will be forced to lose our home. If they put it in the next corridor over, less people will lose their homes, but ours will end up ruined anyway due to 30 60mph trains per day running about a half mile from our house with its 130 year old brick foundation and plaster (the house is ALL original)

And yes, I realize I am ranting on and on, but I want everyone to understand how much we are against it. And how upsetting this all us country people involved. I haven't met one person that lives outside of town that is for this.


Doug K said...

Yes. Definitly pursue the National Register listing. The sooner, the better. Look up and down the corridor for any other houses that might be eligible, and talk to the homeowners there as well.

While National Register listing may not stop the project, it will make them have to consider it a little harder, and it may save the house and others.


Doug K said...

By the way, the house looks more like 1880 or 1890 than 1910.

Are there Sanborn maps (Fire insurance maps done of most towns in the country by Sanborn company) of the town that you can look at? Or County records? You'll need as much documentation as you can find for the National Register application.

In our state (Oregon), the state Historic Preservation office administers the National Register process for the federal government, which means the state agency will be doing the deciding. Remember there are several ways to get the listing: Outstanding architecture, or good example of its type, or home of famous person, or place where something important happpened, etc. Consider them all if you can find any information.


Anonymous said...

Some clarification, I too live in the yellow route, farm and own a house that could be destroyed. The farmers are on your side. The committee you refer to is the CAC committee formed by the previous mayor and HNTB, the company hired to do the study. There are really only 2 farmers on that committee, and they were only put on there after much complaining about how crooked the whole deal was.

Originally, the CAC committee was completely Vincennes city employees and citizens. Later to try to squelch the uproar from the South Knox area, the 2 farmers and a few others from South Knox including 3 or 4 home owners were put on the committee. It is still stacked in Vincennes favor heavily.

The TRAIN group was formed to try and resist this whole relocation deal and get some true facts out to the public about how poorly this whole thing had been handled. The original documents from Lugar's office about the 5 million dollar grant had no wording about a relocation study, and said the money was to be spent on the existing tracks within the city of Vincennes. How they turned that into a relocation study is a question no one will reply to.

The new mayor wants to push for overpasses, but is not getting any help from other government agencies. HNTB acts like they are GOD and are doing whatever they want to This whole thing is crooked and smells of kick backs and political ploys. (CSX)

Now I have rambled, but want to say to keep your ears open and fight this thing to the end, I intend to.