If CSX Corp. follows through on plans to cease operations of a section of Stanley Yard in Lake Township, Richard Welling, a township trustee, sees an opportunity.
He told his fellow trustees Tuesday the rail yard is already zoned for industrial use and has the potential for being developed into an industrial park. Utilities are also in place, he added.
“This is something we could do by partnering with the Village of Walbridge,” Welling said after the trustees meeting.
The yard is located between East Broadway and Tracy roads. An incentive program such as a Joint Economic Development District is one option the township and village could explore, Welling said.
Walbridge mayor Ed Kolanko said Wednesday he’s been contacted by Welling about discussing an industrial park.
“He did reach out to me about having a conversation on ways we can work together for the betterment of our communities and a JEDD may be an idea to consider. I’m always willing to have a conversation if it’s going to benefit our residents.” Kolanko said. “We’re looking to set that up pretty soon.”
CSX informed employees March 25 it is reducing operations at Stanley Yard as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to be more efficient and reduce operating costs, said Gail Lobin, a CSX spokesperson.
About 34 union positions are being eliminated at Stanley.
“CSX understands that these reductions will be difficult for affected employees and their families, and we’re working to support those employees through the transition. The decision to make these reductions follows a review of Toledo-area operations. CSX has determined that by changing the way railcars are sorted at Stanley Yard, it will be able to process trains more efficiently, which will result in better service to our customers,” Labin said.
Approximately 360 CSX employees remain in the Toledo region and about 40 employees will continue to work at Stanley.
Constructed by the Toledo & Ohio Central Railroad, Stanley Yard has changed ownership several times with rail mergers; from New York Central, Penn Central, Conrail and then CSX, which acquired it as part of the Conrail acquisition in the late 1990s.
Three years ago, CSX Toledo Terminal employees at Stanley, Walbridge Yard and the Toledo Docks were recognized by the state legislature for the Stanley centennial and employee safety record. At the time, the terminal handled about 3,000 car loads of freight daily, with Stanley handling mostly mixed freight, Walbridge Yard predominantly handling auto freight, and the Toledo Docks handling vessel and rail transfers of coal and iron ore, according to a CSX press release.
In other business, the trustees approved a contract bid from Franklin Monument Co., Norwalk, O., to construct a columbarium at the township cemetery for $18,658. Mark Hummer, township administrator, said the Franklin bid was the lowest of four bids received.
Trustees hope to have the columbarium open by September. It will be able to hold the remains of 96 persons in pairs.
Fees and rules for the columbarium are being completed, Ken Gilsdorf, a trustee, said. If the columbariun becomes a popular option for the public, a second one may be purchased, which will help free up space at the cemetery.
The trustees said additional land for a cemetery may need to be purchased.
After meeting in executive session, the trustees also approved the hiring of Jamie Stanley as a part-time zoning inspector at an hourly pay rate of $15.
A resident of the township, she will work 16 to 20 hours per week and has served on the township zoning commission and zoning appeals board.