Grand County commissioners not pleased with railroad’s demolition edict
July 2, 2008
A railroad club forced to demolish its recently acquired building has caught the attention of the Grand County commissioners.
Treasurer of the Grand County Model Railroad Club Jack Bakken visited the commissioners Tuesday requesting that the county waive the demolition permit fee and dump fees for its upcoming tear-down project, which commissioners granted.
The railroad club must demolish the rail-side building it purchased at a county treasurer sale last July. In a certified letter received June 7, Union Pacific informed the club that the building needed to be removed from the railroad company’s land by Aug. 1 as part of Union Pacific’s effort to remove, replace or renovate all old and dilapidated buildings in various forms of ownership along its rails from Denver to Glenwood Springs in an effort to make the company’s properties more presentable.
According to Bakken and commissioners, the club’s building sat practically abandoned for longer than two decades before it finally found its owner ” a club with the sole purpose of promoting trains and railroads.
“They’re a marketing tool for the railroad, and they’re kicking them out,” said Commissioner James Newberry.
In the past, the county had tried to enforce junk violations with Union Pacific concerning that very eyesore and others along its line, the commissioner said, and for years the county tried to find someone to improve that building.
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When the club finally came along and renovated it to the tune of $15,000 in community in-kind donations, Union Pacific stepped in to say it must come down.
“And it chaps me that they’re making you guys pay for all the tear-down,” Newberry said.
Newberry suggested the county compose a letter to Union Pacific and search out ways the club might be helped.
Union Pacific officials did not respond to two messages left with them on Tuesday.