Muscatine City Council approves $3 million settlement with Canadian Pacific

Deal comes as the railway hopes to make others in the QCA
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 1:26 AM CDT
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MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) - With a split, four to three vote, the Muscatine City Council approved a multimillion-dollar deal with Canadian Pacific pending its merger with Kansas City Southern.

The $3 million settlement will allow the city to make improvements ahead of increased train traffic if the Surface Transportation Board approves the union of the two rail companies.

However, one Muscatine resident, Daniel Freeman, said he is worried about what the merger would mean for the city.

“Every community up the Mississippi River has serious concerns that our lifestyle is going to be sacrificed for [Canadian Pacific’s] profitability,” Freeman said.

Muscatine City Administrator Carol Webb said part of the deal covers those concerns.

“[$1.4 million] can be used generally for other projects that would mitigate the impacts of the merger,” Webb said. “We could pursue implementing measures at various intersections to achieve a quiet zone status.”

The other $1.6 million, will be used as a part of a grant application to build an overpass at the tracks on Dick Drake Way.

In total, the railway could be investing at least $16 million in the Quad City Area.

Bettendorf approved a similar $3 million settlement at its July 5, city council meeting. Meanwhile, according to company spokesman Andy Cummings, LeClaire is also working on its own deal.

Cummings was at Thursday night’s city council meeting in Muscatine. He said Canadian Pacific’s Community Investment Fund aims to lessen the impacts of the merger.

“Our process is very much about listening to the communities [and] hearing their concerns,” Cummings said. “[The Quad Cities are] an important crew base for us. A lot of our employees live and work in the Quad Cities Area. These are important communities to us.”

At Wednesday’s Davenport Committee of the Whole, the city council discussed a $10 million settlement.

Part of the deal, $2 million would be a commitment for grade separation on the tracks by the water plant on West River Drive.

Davenport City Administrator Corri Spiegel said another $8 million would be used as the council sees fit, like for grants regarding infrastructure improvements needed to handle increased traffic.

“Those are the items [city staff] would bring forward to you as they become available,” Spiegel said. “At the end of the day, it’s truly a policy decision of the council.”

The settlement is on the agenda for Davenport’s Aug. 10 regular city council meeting.

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