Petition to block sand loading site in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin

A neighborhood group in the city of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, is planning a petition to prevent building of a proposed $1 million frac sand loading site.

The petition is in response to a century-and-a-half-old loophole which allows Wisconsin and Southern Railroad Company to go ahead with the facility even though the city denied it a zoning permit. 

The Wisconsin and Southern Railroad (WSOR) has proposed building a 6,000-square-foot, 94-foot-high, $1 million frac sand load-out facility and adding a seven-track switchyard to the existing load-out site located along the Highway 18 Bypass (700 to 900 block of South Main Street). They requested rezoning of the site from R-2 medium density residential to I-2 industrial/manufacturing.

The City of Prairie du Chien denied the rezoning request, though federal preemption laws granted to railroads in the 1860s to facilitate the development of transcontinental transportation leave a loophole that would allow WSOR to proceed despite the city’s wishes unless the STB where to rule in favor of the city.

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