Commission decides not to support Sheffield's grant bid

COLBERT COUNTY, AL (WAFF)- The Colbert County Commission will not adopt a resolution to support the City of Sheffield's grant application to add additional railroad tracks in the county to alleviate traffic in downtown Sheffield.

This comes after the commission delayed the vote two weeks to get more information

Like last meeting, the line item was not voted on because of unanswered questions.

"Are we talking months, years?" asked a Colbert County resident who lives off Frankfort Road, where additional tracks are proposed to be laid.

"Do you know how much roadway they want?" asked another resident.

They came with concerns.

"I hope you all will consider an overpass instead of additional railroad tracks," said resident Mary Marshall Van Sant.

For others, though, the answers wouldn't suffice.

"We're going to fight this tooth and nail," said Mary Carton.

It was a commission pelted with citizen issues.

Commissioners removed the line item to support the City of Sheffield's application for a Tiger grant, which would provide between 20-300 million in federal funding, to construct additional railway tracks in Colbert County.

Just because the commission removed the item, however, doesn't mean the City of Sheffield can't apply for the grant.

For Michael Cabiness, that means his 80 acre farm that's been in his family for four generations remains a target.

"Me and my father we worked hard over there. we bled, we sweat, and I just hate to see all that ruined," Cabiness said.

Ruined, if train tracks come through his backyard, but for residents in downtown Sheffield, it's relief at the intersection of Montgomery and Second street.

"It's aggravating, it's a pain in the rear to sit there and watch the trains, especially when you catch 2 at the same time," said Sheffield resident Steve Price.

An ongoing traffic jam still in need of a resolution that could still end up in the south west end of the county.

The deadline for the City of Sheffield to submit their Tiger grant application is September 14th.

©2009 WAFF. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.