County officials are raising concerns about the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad’s practice of sending what they consider “threatening” letters to residents with properties intersecting the railroad. Commissioner Kenneth Parton highlights an increase in these letters, stating that residents are now required to pay fees and get insurance for train crossings on their property, which have existed for decades.
The railroad, represented by Kim Albritton, defends its actions, citing a legal right to protect its right of ways and issuing fines for perceived insurance risks. Parton contends that the railroad’s ownership claims have only recently surfaced, leading to an unsatisfactory meeting with train officials.
The railroad argues for a balance between safety concerns and the reality of people living near the tracks. Albritton emphasizes that the practice is common among North Carolina railroads. Parton aims to stand up for citizens, stressing the need for the railroad to consider the county’s contributions.
In summary, county officials seek resolution for residents facing challenges while acknowledging the railroad’s concerns about safety and liability.