August 29, 2014

Intermodal class discusses public safety issues

Charlie Troutner
Special to The Gardner News
Session two of the city of Edgerton’s “Intermodal 101” was held Sept. 16, at Edgerton Elementary School.
This series of informational sessions is designed to provide answers to citizens’ questions and concerns regarding the soon-to-be opened BNSF Intermodal facility in Edgerton. The facility is slated to open in late September or early October.
Session two dealt with the public safety aspects of the intermodal project. Representatives from BNSF Railway Police, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Fire District No. 1, Johnson County Med-Act, and BNSF administration, were all present to discuss possible issues within the area of public safety.
BNSF railway police are currently present on the intermodal property to protect the property from any wrongdoing or trespassing. These police will have a “zero tolerance” policy in regards to any trespassers. They also encourage the public to inform them of any suspicious persons or activity in the vicinity of the county sheriff’s office said officers are working closely with Edgerton city staff in preparation for the opening of the intermodal facility. He  added that presently, the sheriff’s office is not planning to add any officers to the BNSF facility or the immediate surrounding area.
Pennington also  addressed a question raised by a citizen at last week’s session about how long a train is allowed to block a crossing by being completely stopped. State statute prohibits a parked train from blocking a crossing for more than 10 minutes, but he  added that for security and safety reasons, it is sometimes necessary for a train to stay parked longer.
Representatives from Med-Act and the fire district both discussed how the intermodal will affect their services to the city of Edgerton. They said that in most cases they will be notified by BNSF in advance of any blocked railroad crossings they may encounter in Edgerton while answering emergency calls.
Next week’s Intermodal 101 session will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 23 at the elementary school. It will focus on the employment aspect of the Intermodal project, which officials say will bring hundreds of new jobs.
Representatives from Johnson County Community College will be present to discuss how people for employment opportunities at the intermodal.
Also the topic of the number and types of employment that the Intermodal will bring, will also be discussed. A representative from IMKO Work Force Solutions will also be present to discuss their staffing agency and how to become registered with them to possibly gain employment at the intermodal facility.
There will be another Intermodal 101 session on Sept. 30, regarding transportation and infrastructure, and then an open house at Logistics Park Kansas City at 31608 W. 191st St. The open house will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5.

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