At the Vermilion City Council Meeting on Monday, November 4, 2019, Vermilion resident Jim Machkoff, of 1087 Nautical Drive, said he wanted to present a proposal to Council of which he would like discussed at the committee meetings on November 18. He said he has had several discussions with Senator Gavarone and Matt Diedrich, who is the Chairman of the Ohio Rail Development Board, and they have come up with an idea which was discussed with Mayor Forthofer on how to silence the train whistles in the city forever.
“The railroad is willing to pay for it forever,” stated Machkoff. “The silencing of the train whistles will go all the way from Baumhart Road to the other side of town beyond the city limits.”
Machkoff stated he had some discussions with Matt Diedrich, and he has suggested a couple different things.
“The railroad is anxious to close another crossing in Vermilion and they’re willing to pay dearly for it,” said Machkoff. “Based on their ratings, the city could probably get more than enough financing to silence the railroad whistles on Vermilion Road by closing Sunnyside Road.”
He explained that Matt told him that because all the railroad crossings have certain designations as to how dangerous they are – Sunnyside Road comes up 465th out of 18,000 crossings in the State of Ohio.
“Vermilion Road comes up at 4,000, which is a lot lower than Sunnyside Road. Because Sunnyside Road comes up so high, the railroad is willing to subsidize and pay for possibly the complete silencing with all the equipment that is necessary to silence the whistles, not only on Vermilion Road, but if they close Sunnyside Road, then the whistles would stop all the way across town forever,” said Machkoff.
He has discussed this with Senator Teresa Gavarone and Matt suggested that he make this proposal to Council. He said there have been a lot of pros and cons from the people who he has discussed this with as they are hesitant to close Sunnyside Road because it’s a state road. Most of the businesses are all north of the railroad tracks and he believes Claus Road could be used as an alternate once Sunnyside Road is closed.
“If Council allows the railroad to close Sunnyside, Mr. Diedrich said they would probably foot the bill for any necessary equipment for Vermilion Road, which would silence everything from Baumhart Road because there would be no more whistles on Sunnyside either,” stated Machkoff.
He hoped Council would consider this proposal because he lives on one of the ends of the canals in Vermillion and when the wind is blowing out of the northwest, northeast or north, it sounds like the trains are coming in his bedroom. He’s sick of it as, he is sure, are a lot of other people. He said at the time when the Senator gave the city a million dollars, there was a lot of discussion where and what places to close, but there was never any discussion about the sound echoing up and down the river and canals, which is a constant problem. He is trying to remedy this, and this may not cost the city a nickel.
Council President Steve Herron referred this matter to the November 18, 2019 Committee Meetings for further discussion.