Roanoke, Virginia repels NS attempt

March 18, 2016

By Matt Chittum, The Roanoke Times

In the waning hours of the General Assembly session last week, Roanoke officials derailed an attempt by Norfolk Southern Corp. to take a sidetrack around paying $400,000 in city storm water utility fees.Website Insert Coach Business Class Food Service copy

A legislative amendment, backed by NS, to exempt rail beds from the fees initially passed the Senate on a 39-0 vote.

But after testimony in a House of Delegates subcommittee by the head of the city’s storm water utility, multiple conferences between the House and Senate and last-minute angling by a city-hired lobbyist, the bill passed the House without the amendment late on the final day of the session, March 11.

That victory means city officials will avoid having to decide whether to live without the railroad’s fees, or increase fees for everyone else by up to 10 percent to make up for the loss.

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