Southern Pines DOT purchase plan

Officials in Southern Pines will support NC-DOT regarding possible purchase of the CSX S-Line. The acquisition of the rail corridor, which goes from north of Raleigh to Hamlet, is being sought by the North Carolina department. In addition to Southern Pines and other communities, the CSX S-Line runs through Aberdeen, Vass and Cameron.

The Southern Pines Town Council – during its Tuesday, May 6 remote meeting – made its support for NC-DOT’s request to get federal funds for the right-of-way acquisition a mere formality. NC-DOT is seeking approval letters from areas impacted by any changes to the line.

The approval will become official, as a consent item, at next week’s council meeting.

Aberdeen provided approval for improvements to the rail corridor in March.

The Southeast Corridor, which includes the CSX S-Line, is one of five in the nation that have been designated, by the federal government, for high-speed rail. If the project comes to fruition, a long-term goal is to provide some form of commuter rail, making travel to and from areas like Raleigh, Apex and Cary more convenient.

“Overall, generally, it doesn’t seem like a bad thing,” Southern Pines Town Manager Reagan Parsons said.  “DOT is looking to tap into some federal funds and purchase the CSX Corridor that runs from Wake Forest through Southern Pines all the way to Hamlet. This is an item that’s been out there for a couple of months. NC-DOT would own the right of way in the corridor as opposed to CSX.”

Letters of support from relevant municipalities would be included with DOT’s grant application.

The corridor would connect with a Virginia project that’s underway.

Parsons also discussed during the meeting the benefits of using a piggyback process for the purchase of a new firetruck. Under the process, as opposed to an open-bid situation, if a truck has been accepted from a certain vendor within the last 12 months, that vendor can again be approached about purchase of a new vehicle.

“It’s been used historically with fire trucks,” Parsons said. “There are great advantages to trying to maintain a standard vendor amongst your trucks.”

In terms of a specific vendor, Parsons urged that Southern Pines continue to work with Pierce Manufacturing.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Dave Lukow.

 

Photo of Southern Pines Train Station captured by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer John Patota.

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