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Mequon OKs plans for railroad spur

Company would then build semitrailer parking lot in exchange for easement

Nov. 8, 2011

Mequon - The Mequon Planning Commission approved plans to move forward with Gateway Plastic's proposed railroad spur and pump house, as well as a plan for a semitrailer parking lot on neighboring Kleen Test Properties premises.

Gateway Plastics plans to use the train spur to deliver raw manufacturing material at a rate of about one or two train-loads per week, which will replace up to or more than 1,000 truck deliveries per year, according to company chairman Carl Vogel. A complete loading and unloading process should take, in Vogel's estimation, about 30 minutes. Impact on railroad traffic should be minimal, according to Al Jauquet of Key Railroad Development, who has been working with Vogel on the plan.

"It's not anticipated that this project is going to change anything out on the main line," Jauquet said. "The two to five cars per week that Gateway Plastics would be bringing in would just be added to the existing switching operations taking place presently."

In order for the rail spur to get to Gateway Plastics, it has to cross through Kleen Test's premises. In exchange for the easement allowing the rail spur through Kleen Test's property, Gateway Plastics is going to build a trailer storage parking facility for Kleen Test on the Kleen Test lot.

Cherry Lange, a neighbor to Kleen Test, voiced concerns to the Planning Commission regarding the noise levels of trucks going in and out of Kleen Test premises, the number of trucks present, and trucks parked and idling on Riebs Lane.

"Kleen Test has lost sight of the fact that they are not being a good neighbor," Lange said. "I would ask the Planning Commission to reconsider this parking lot or at least put it on hold until such time as trucking hours and capacity have been established to the extent that (neighbors) could be assured of some return to peace."

According to Vogel, his conversations with Kleen Test staff indicate that the parking lot addition should give them more space to park trucks that currently block loading docks and cause trucks waiting to load or unload to park out on Riebs Lane. There were no Kleen Test employees present at the meeting to speak on the issue.

"We've received complaints about traffic on Riebs Lane," said Assistant Director of Community Development Jac Zader, "and it's an enforcement issue. We're hoping that the trailer storage will alleviate some of the parking on Riebs Lane, which should not be taking place."

Added Zader: "We're going to have to keep on (Kleen Test) to make sure that they remain in compliance with all the city rules and regulations."

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