* Breaking News *
The plot thickens. Enter Buffalo Southern Railroad (BSOR)—a locally owned Class 3 Common Carrier located in Western New York State.
On Wednesday, May 18, 2006, Attorney John McManus (see video in “Not So Imminent Eminent Domain in Croton”) of Crane, Parente, Cherubin & Murray, of Albany, New York, representing both Regus Industries LLC and BSOR, filed a request for a Show Cause Order and a Temporary Restraining Order in Federal Court in White Plains against the Village of Croton-on-Hudson.
The new player in the game, Buffalo Southern Railroad, is a short line railroad operating 32 miles of track south from Buffalo to Gowanda, New York, on the Cattaraugus Creek. It connects with every Class 1 railroad in Buffalo, including the Norfolk & Southern, CSX, Canadian Pacific and the Buffalo & Pittsburgh. The Buffalo Southern Railroad has seven employees and handles 50,000 tons of freight annually. Kevin J. O’Gorman is President and CEO.
The request, based on the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, seeks to restrain the village from further pursuit of eminent domain action against property owner Greentree Realty LLC and 1A Croton Point Avenue. It would prohibit legislative interference in any way with their business operations. In addition to identifying several village boards, the claim also names both the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Westchester County Solid Waste Commission.
Response by the village must be filed by Tuesday, May 23, 2006. Village Attorney Marianne Stecich (search) and Special Counsel Michael Gerard have not yet filed a response. Oral argument will be heard on Friday, May 26, 2006, in White Plains. The presiding judge will then decide whether to uphold or deny the joint request by Regus Industries LLC, Buffalo Southern Railroad and Greentree Realty LLC.
However, the action by the plaintiffs does not seek to change the amount of construction and demolition debris handled at the former site of Metro Enviro. Instead, they also plan to use the site as a rail-to-truck distribution point for benign raw building materials, such as aggregates, sand, cement, lumber, metals and brick.
Village officials maintain that approval from the Surface Transportation Board is necessary in order to commence such operations at the site—which has a rail spur connecting it to the main line.