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Angola joins Cross-Border Rail Coalition

ANGOLA — In view of last July’s train derailment and explosion in Lac Mégantic, Quebec, the Angola Village Board passed a resolution, presented by Trustee Charles Katra, to join with other municipalities in the United States and Canada in approving the Cross-Border Municipal Coalition for Railway Safety.

During the board’s Jan. 13 meeting, it was announced that, in partnering with other rail industry communities, Angola will lend its voice in demanding the review, modernization and upgrading of rail cars, rails, rail beds, rail yards and facilities, as well as operation by public authorities of the “standards governing activities of railway companies” on both sides of the border.

The train incident in Quebec occurred when a 74-car freight train carrying crude oil broke loose and derailed, resulting in a fire and the explosion of multiple tank cars. Forty-seven people were confirmed dead after the explosion, which leveled more than 30 buildings in the town’s center. The oil had originated in North Dakota.

In voting unanimously for the proposal, the board signaled its concern for rail safety issues, which “transcend local and national boundaries in the aftermath of the Lac Mégantic tragedy to raise government awareness as to the impact upon municipalities of their decisions respecting railway safety,” according to the resolution.

In other board news:

– Mayor Howard Frawley sent a letter to the board of directors of Lake Shore Hospital in Irving, to advise about “what Lake Shore Hospital means to our residents.” The letter read, “Records show that 40 percent of the patients that the Lake Shore Hospital treats come from Southern Erie County.”

The mayor noted that the board has the full backing of State Sen. Mark Grisanti and Erie County Legislature Chairman John Mills, adding, “We urge you to do all that you can to keep Lake Shore Hospital in full force in the care and treatment of our community.”

– In response to the recent blizzard conditions in Western New York, Deputy Mayor William Houston said that warming stations were open in adjacent communities, but that none were available in Angola.

The board resolved to designate the Angola Village Hall and the Angola Volunteer Fire Hall as warming stations. These sites are now available to be utilized during periods of extreme heat or cold, or in other emergencies.

– Houston was appointed village representative to the Northeast Southtowns Solid Waste Management program; this is a consortium of 37 Erie County municipalities under contract with the Tellus Institute in Boston, Mass., seeking to develop a solid waste management plan. Trustee John Wilson was appointed as the alternate representative.

The next board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10.

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