Davenport City Council looks at $10 million settlement with Canadian Pacific at upcoming meeting

Published: Aug. 7, 2022 at 10:49 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - On Wednesday, Davenport City Council will vote on a multi-million-dollar deal from Canadian Pacific pending it’s merger with Kansas City Southern.

The city hopes to use the $10 million deal it to address increased train traffic that could come to the city if the merger is approved by the Surface Transportation Board this winter.

At last Wednesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Davenport City Administrator Corri Spiegel said, that $8 million of the deal is pretty flexible.

“The idea that there are quiet zones that cover where those high-risk crossings are, I would say, is expected by the parties that have worked through this in good faith,” Spiegel said. “Beyond that, it’s really up to council discretion.”

The railroad is committing an additional $2 million for the city to use toward grant applications to ensure grade separation of road and rail traffic at South Concord, near the Water Pollution Control Plant,

However, according to City Attorney Tom Warner, the total $10 million settlement means the city agrees not to contribute in any way to stop the merger of the two companies.

“We’re not going to file anything with the STB to stop the merger,” Warner said. “This agreement is going to stop us from commenting on [the environmental impact statement] as an organization.”

Regardless of the settlement, former mayor, Bill Gluba, said he is concerned about what the merger could mean for Davenport’s riverfront.

“Often thousands of our citizens congregate around [the river’s ammenitites] to relax and recreate, “ Gluba said. “All of these wonderful improvements will be threatened and become dangerous to our people should this train merger be approved.”

Alderman At Large Kyle Gripp said while he is also worried about the riverfront, reaching a settlement is in the city’s best interest.

“We did our homework mainly looking at what are the chances that this merger goes through,” Gripp said.” “If the merger goes through and we don’t have an agreement with CP what are we likely to receive in compensation? The answer to that was quiet zones and likely nothing else.”

The cities of Bettendorf and Muscatine also approved similar settlements with Canadian Pacific within the last month.

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