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STORM LAKE, Iowa | The Storm Lake City Council will hold a study session Monday to examine a proposal to close eight railroad crossings around town.

The crossings are not outfitted with electronic gates and lights to warn pedestrians and motorists of oncoming trains, making them a safety hazard, said Assistant City Manager Justin Yarosevich.

During the study session, residents will have a chance to voice their opinions.

City staff will present the council with three options for the closures, Yarosevich said.

The options recommend the city either continue with the original proposal of closing four vehicle and four pedestrian crossings; close only the vehicle crossings at Gilbert and Barton streets and the pedestrian crossings at Grand and Ostego streets; or keep all crossings open.

Yarosevich said the council will not vote on what steps to take until Dec. 1 at the earliest.

“(The council) will discuss it, but they won’t take any vote or action,” he said. “Following the study session they may still want more information.”

John Keenan, owner of Grand Central Coffee Station in Storm Lake, said one of the proposed closures would slow business at his coffee shop on Ontario Street.

Keenan and a committee of seven other concerned citizens will attend Monday's study session to address the City Council on the matter, he said.

"We are adamantly opposed to the closures because we know the results are congestion, a slow response time for emergency vehicles and we want to keep our city flowing free," he said.


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