Davenport City Council unanimously approves $10 million settlement from Canadian Pacific
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Davenport City Council unanimously approved a $10 million settlement from Canadian Pacific pending its merger with Kansas City Southern on Wednesday.
CP’s Community Investment Fund aims to alleviate cities’ concerns regarding the $31 billion merger. If approved by the Surface Transportation Board, train traffic could triple in the Quad Cities.
Wednesday night, a calm but outspoken crowd asked the city council to reconsider the settlement. Davenport Resident Michelle Solice Russell said she’s worried increased trains could cut off access to the riverfront.
“This is the history of our town and the long-term future of our town,” Solice Russell said. “Are we going to be Train Town? That’s Davenport, Iowa? Or are we going to be River Town?”
Part of the deal, $2 million, would be used to apply for grants to build an overpass at the tracks intersecting South Concord Street by the water plant.
The other $8 million is for whatever the city feels is best to address increased train traffic, like proposed quiet zones from Mound Street to Marquette Street.
Railway spokesman Andy Cummings said, aside from the company’s financial investment, this merger could bring jobs to the area.
“We are a company that has operated in this community for a really long time,” Cummings said. “It is our intent to continue operating in this community for a really long time, We are in it for the long hall.”
Another Davenport resident, Susan Leuthauser, was concerned the company isn’t offering enough to compensate for the changes that might come if the STB greenlights the merger this winter.
“They are dangling a carrot in front of us that is that’s worth about .03% of that pot of money,” Leauthauser said. “[They] tell us, ‘well you’re going to have to deal with all the risks that come along.’”
Meanwhile, Mayor Mike Matson said a rejection of the settlement most likely won’t stop a merger, especially as surrounding cities have approved their own deals in recent weeks.
“I believe the city council’s role and obligation to ensure that our city does not find itself in a position where the merger moves forward and we have $0 invested by Canadian Pacific in our community,” Matson said. ”That outcome would be completely irresponsible.”
According to Cummings, LeClaire is still working out a deal of its own.
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