Update: Railbed conflict moves toward resolution
Last fall a number of residents raised questions about trees being cut on the Union Pacific property just to the west of the Spanish American War Memorial. Based on their concerns, the railroad asked all use of the land in question cease until they could decide on a clear course of action.
At the time, there were hopes that the city might lease or purchase the land; however, city officials expressed only mediocre interest in this solution. Since these events, Union Pacific has drafted a “beautification lease” for the property, which would allow the leaser to maintain the property with no major changes including alterations, improvements, or clearances. There is no specific language in this lease related to parking on any part of the property. They first presented this lease to the city, but the city again declined, asking only for an easement to be able to freely move park maintenance vehicles in and out of the nearby park. The lease has now been presented to the Palladio Group, and Union Pacific is awaiting its completion. — Kristen Schebler