It was eight years in May that a ten year contract allotted public funds to be used by the Morristown and Erie Railway, a privately owned railway company without a single benefit to the taxpaying public. In defending the contract with the the Morristown and Erie Railway, Union County manager George Devanney said the deal will "create economic development opportunities translating into more job opportunities for our residents."
Obviously, Devanney’s translation of "more job opportunities" is a bit of an error. Almost nine years into the county's contract with Fuller what do we get? No jobs, no economic development, all we have are 23 acres of county land (just in Roselle) where the Morristown and Erie Railway stores rail cars in Roselle residents’ backyards for a Bayway oil company!
No one will say what is being stored in those cars. No one is supervising the project. M & E is receiving, in addition to the millions in public funds they spent, opportunities to charge any other company, such as the Sunoco pipe line which runs along the track $800 to come on M & E "leased property" to inspect and repair their line, for residents' safety. It took a day for Sunoco to do its job. M & E paid $20.00 to the county to lease the line from Linden to Summit for 10 years. (That's 17 cents a month.)
• M & E is running what they call "test" runs once a week from the Linden refinery though Roselle.
• M & E has been running these "test" trains for 3 years without any of the NJ DOT's required safety protections. They are disregarding all regulations requiring specific safety measures, especially at grade-level crossings.
• M & E is running freight trains without clearing the track of dangerous brush several ft. high. They have been notified by the Roselle FD of the danger.
• Stored or Transported cargo must be identified on the rail cars according to Federal law. This has not been done by the M & E during the entire time of the contract.
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