Concern over 'dangerous' rail operator aired at Selectmen Meeting
David Italiaander raised concerns with Searsport Selectmen over Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway Ltd., whose runaway train exploded in Quebec last July, operating trains in Searsport as it goes through bankruptcy.
Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway operated in Searsport on a daily bases visiting Mack Point. The July explosion is the worst rail disaster Canada has seen since 1910, resulting in 47 deaths, according to state-wide media reports.
Italiaander urged the Selectmen at their Oct. 1 meeting to submit a letter to the bankruptcy trustee asking that liability insurance be purchased, two-man crews on trains operating in Searsport be required, and the business be sold.
Selectmen chair Aaron Fethke said a letter from the municipality would hold much weight saying, "Unless you are a creditor or investor you basically aren't listened to."
Fethke said he would be willing to speak to Italiaander in private about the issue, but also noted that bankruptcy proceedings are preempted by federal law. The bankruptcy case is currently in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Maine (Bangor).
In other business
The Selectmen authorized the expenditure of up to $7,000 to purchase a new truck at the public works auction. The funds will be taken from the Public Works Account, which has a balance of $95,000.
It authorized $15,000 to repair and pave eight additional culverts and complete the project at the end of Warren Street. All previously approved road work has been completed. The funds will be taken from the Road Reserve Account, which has a balance of $87,141.
Searsport will officially sponsor the Fling Into Fall in order to bring the event under its insurance coverage.