Cost concerns voiced in Tupelo quiet zone proposal

(C.J. LeMaster, WTVA)
(C.J. LeMaster, WTVA)
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Updated: 9/03/2013 10:39 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- A proposed quiet zone policy in Tupelo will likely not happen in the near future because of potential costs involved with the project, according to one city councilman.

The initiative, discussed at length with the Tupelo City Council in late May, would involve a design proposal for the city's 24 railroad crossings.

The estimated cost of that design proposal -- approximately $138,000 -- would give officials an idea of how much it would cost to upgrade each railroad crossing.

After that, however, the total cost of upgrading each crossing could be much, much more than that.

The council had the item on its agenda for Tuesday's regular meeting, but tabled it for future discussion.

Ward 3 Councilman Jim Newell says he's heard rumors of a national hotel chain considering a downtown Tupelo location, but the noise from trains could be a deciding factor.

"One of the sticking points is this quiet zone policy, so I certainly want to help economic development downtown, but on the other side, we need to know how we're going to pay for it, and I think that's the big question," Newell said.

Newell adds he and other council members remain on the fence about the issue.

He said Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton wants to look at alternative funding sources before going forward with the design proposal.
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