T-N letter to the editor: Not a ‘land grab’

Not a ‘land grab’

To the editor: The transaction to purchase the rail corridor for the Ecusta Trail is nothing close to a “land grab.” In fact, the railroad company that owns the transportation corridor has a right to sell it to another entity.

Instead of abandonment, this transaction will preserve the corridor forever for Henderson and Transylvania counties. Over the years, one thing that it seems all Henderson County and Transylvania County residents can agree on is preserving the corridor for future rail use. That is exactly what this transaction does.

If you would like to learn more about the Ronald Reagan-era federal railbanking statute, the Friends of the Ecusta Trail website (www.ecustatrail.org) is a good place to start. Incidentally, the original railroad purchase documents dating back to the late 1800s show that 98% of the original parcels that make up the corridor were obtained through a deed, not through right-of-way easements.

If you own property adjacent to the corridor and believe that you have been paying taxes on the corridor, you need to talk to the county’s tax department as you are not responsible for the property taxes on the corridor. The railroad pays those taxes.

Ken Shelton, Friends of the Ecusta Trail board member, Hendersonville

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