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I wanted to take a moment and update the citizens of Choteau about the status of the BNSF railroad crossings, particularly the crossing east of Rex’s on Hwy 221. Mayor Lannen and I have been reaching out to a variety of contacts at BNSF over the last few months to find someone who could help us address the damaged crossings. Frankly, most of our outreach resulted in phone calls that ended in excuses as to why the work could not be undertaken.
After navigating our personal and professional networks to find a contact at BNSF willing to take responsibility I found Ross Lane, BNSF’s Regional Public Affairs Director. Ross recognized the urgency of the safety issues with the BNSF railroad crossings and agreed to help Choteau by coordinating with several BNSF departments to create a plan to address our safety concerns.
Within the week of first contacting him, Ross promptly got back to me and formulated a plan to bring the interested parties to the table to fix the problem. By Friday of last week, Ross, his team, and I made a plan for a temporary patch repair to be completed this month (November 2018) and a permanent fix involving MTDOT and BNSF next spring. I have made a commitment to follow up with Ross and the BNSF maintenance team to make sure they fulfill their promise to Choteau in a few weeks and in the spring.
Thank you to all the community members for their concern and input, and thanks to Mr. Lane for helping us advocate for our rural community.
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Good evening, at tonight’s City Council meeting we approved the minutes of the July 3rd meeting. (00:01:19) We approved Councilman Major’s request to be out of state between tonight and the next scheduled meeting of the Council (00:02:01), and we elected Councilman Merja as the Council President (00:02:38).