Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sadsbury Township Supervisors Skeptical of Rails-to-Trails Proposal

One of the seven municipalities through which the old Norfolk Southern Enola Low-Grade Rail Line runs is Sadsbury Township.

In fact, it's the first if you follow the tracks in from the east.

Many in the County would like to see the line become a "rail trail" recreation area, akin to the very successful ones next door in York County.

But township supervisors there are skeptical.

Eugene Lammey, Chairman of the 3-person Board of Supervisors, said at Tuesday night's meeting that the issue has been quiet lately but that the board has, in the recent past, heard opposition to any such proposal, especially from persons immediately adjacent to the inactive line.

Some of the concerns, he shared, include liability issues and trespassing, if persons were to wander off the trail, or engage in dangerous activities on or near the trail.

"And part of it, I'll be honest with you, is just the old NIMBY," Lammey said.

Wilma John Stone, a local resident, speculated that laws akin to "scenic river laws" might restrict local residents' ability to cut down trees or otherwise make modifications to the land within the line of sight of the trail.

Moreover, she opined that a rail trail seems unnecessary to her and other residents given that their township already has recreation areas.

As for the other two supervisors, they refused to comment, deferring instead to the Chairman's remarks.

Lammey said that, once the township is in possession of the land, he would be not be entirely averse to the idea of recreational use of the rail line if that's what the taxpayers wanted.

But he admitted that he's "definitely opposed" at this point and does not expect residents to come out in force in favor of the plan.