Walbridge wants to make railroad crossings safer


WALBRIDGE – The village is hoping to improve the safety of three of its railroad crossings.

Mayor Ed Kolanko said at council’s Dec. 6 meeting that a railroad study will review two crossings on Union Street as well as one on Main Street.

“Every year I meet the rail commission at the (CSX) yard to review the crossings and look at potential areas where safety can be improved,” Kolanko said after the meeting.

While CSX will not pay for the safety improvements, there is a state grant program to receive $5,000 per crossing, he said.

“We’re in the process of determining what upgrades will be done,” he said.

Kolanko said the village is looking at reflective markings and blinking lights at those three crossings, which have crossbucks and flashing red lights but no gates.

“This will help improve lighting and safety,” he said.

These three crossings are not prone to train/vehicle accidents, he said.

“But we want to maintain safety and continue to be safe,” he said.

Kolanko said the safety of CSX employees need to be considered as well as the safety of those people who drive through there.

“Whatever we can do as a village to protect the safety of (residents), I think is important,” he said.

He estimated improvements could be made in the spring.

Also at the meeting, council:

• Was told the finance committee will meet Dec. 16 at 9 a.m. to review the budget.

• Gave first readings to ordinances that would require contractors to register with the village before starting work; and would renew the HMO plan for employee health benefits.

Two other ordinances related to the 2024 budget also were given first readings, including appropriations for fiscal year 2024 and providing for a recommended 2% wage increase for village employees next year.

• Learned a 2013 leaf machine was purchased for $9,850, replacing the one that was 52 years old.

• Did not act on an ordinance that was tabled Nov. 15 that would transfer property at 117 W. Perry St. to Habitat for Humanity of Wood County.

Kolanko said the two sides were still discussing the sales price and how to handle costs associated with the property, so the village doesn’t take a loss.

• Hired Jerry Eversman as a full-time police officer.

Kolanko said when he joined the village council in 2007, he took the seat vacated by Eversman.

Eversman is leaving his post as a Lucas County Sheriff’s Deputy and is looking to finish his career in Walbridge, Kolanko said.

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