J-burg Borough discusses trains, pools, playgrounds

Brian Stockman
Staff Writer

The Johnsonburg Borough Council convened for their monthly meeting on Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the Borough Office.
After approval of the previous months minutes, the special meeting minutes from Jan, 29 discussing the Community Center Pool repair and this meeting's agenda, public comments were heard.
Laura Polaski of Blaine Avenue reported an ongoing problem with trains blocking access and egress from Blane Avenue and Grant Street. Polaski reported being stopped for over 30 minutes while a train idled on the track on Feb. 4. Other attendees at the meeting also reported an increase in these incidents over the past six months.
Police Chief John Clopp reported being called out for the problem last Monday and several other times over the past few months. Clopp reported the police used to cite the train, but have stopped doing so as the cases are always thrown out of court since the railroad companies fall under federal jurisdiction, not state or local. He and members of the Borough Council reported speaking several times with the president of the railroad who said he is working to put an end to the practice. It seems crews use Johnsonburg as a convenient halfway point to switch crews from northbound and southbound trains so that everyone can return to their home station at the end of the shift. Clopp gave a phone number of 1-800-227-7245 to call if they have a crossing blocked again. The violation must take place for a period of time greater than 10 minutes and the caller must have the crossing number located on signs at every crossing to file a report. Clopp also assured citizens that he has spoken once again with the railroad about last week's incident.
Mayor Jack Fowler had nothing to report on for council but did swear in new junior councilperson Tori Haynes at the meeting to a round of applause from all in attendance.

To read the full story, see today's publication of the Ridgway Record. (Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019.)