Northern Valley Beacon

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Railroad to oblivion

The AP wire carried a story today that negotiations between the state railroad authority to sell the Aberdeen to Mitchell and beyond line to Burlington Northern Santa Fe has stalled. The story did not mention that, although the citizens of South Dakota own the line, negotiations are being conducted in secret. It is another case where state officials use some pretext of confidentiality to keep the public from knowing what it has a right to know. We have no idea what is involved in this proposed transaction, other than the taxpayers are getting steam-rollered again.

Here are the lead graphs from the AP story:

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- Negotiations are continuing in an attempt to work out the details of the proposed sale of the state-owned railroad line to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, state Transportation Secretary Judy Payne said Monday.

Payne had been scheduled to talk to the Legislature's Government Operations and Audit Committee on Monday about the deal, but committee officials announced she would not appear because the deal had apparently fallen through.

Payne told The Associated Press that the proposed sale has not fallen through.

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