Humboldt, Iowa – The long awaited agreement between Union Pacific Railroads and Humboldt County has finally came.
The emphasis of the project was on drainage blocking the undercarriage of the railroad, the county had originally sanctioned Union Pacific to pay about 13% of future repairs, with the rest going to the surrounding areas. That percentage comes in lower than most for commercial properties.
However, Ryan Koopmans, attorney for Union Pacific said that the railroad doesn’t believe that they benefit from the tiling and while ideally they would want 0-4% cost share of future repairs, they understand the cities position and would settle for 8.5%.
“Union [Pacific] was fine before it, they’ll be fine after it.” Koopmans explained.
Livermore City Clerk Janet Bertie said that despite Union Pacific’s stance, the agriculture has changed giving them a better benefit than what was originally mentioned.
“It’s not fair for the city to give the railroad a break, it just isn’t fair,” said Bertie.
“The farmers cannot fight the railroad, they have the money.”
Chair Rick Pedersen did mention that the railroad originally had 33% of that area’s cost share, saying that there was a benefit there at one time.
“You just cannot speak to the railroad’s past, stationed out of Omaha, it may be hard for them to get around and thoroughly investigate” Koopmans exclaimed.
After deliberation from both says, who agreed they wanted to avoid more litigation, Koopmans made a phone call to Union Pacific to see if they would agree, on principle, a 10% cost share.
Five minutes later, Koopmans returned saying that Union Pacific would in fact, accept the deal at 10% cost share for future repairs.
The Board and Koopmans looked elated after putting to rest a case that has been in and out of the Supervisor’s Room for over 2 years.
The agreement goes into place immediately.