• North Brookfield RR

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

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  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
http://www.telegram.com/article/2015073 ... 887/101478" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

He's baaaaaaaaaaack! And still peddling the same old story. :P

Site admin: Brief, fair-use quote added:
North Brookfield railroad planning still on track

NORTH BROOKFIELD – Three years might seem like a long time to wait for a train, especially when there are no tracks on the long-dormant, 4.2-mile rail bed that runs from the town center to the CSX main line in East Brookfield.

The town-owned North Brookfield Railroad was established in 1876 and Conrail abandoned freight service in the 1970s. The three members of the Board of Selectmen serve as the NBRR’s board of directors. There has been no activity and minimal public discussion of the North Brookfield Railroad since spring 2012.

This week, however, Eric Smith, principal planner for the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, briefed Selectmen Robert J. Smith and Mary F. Walter on a proposal to assess the current status as well as the potential of the NBRR.

Mr. Smith suggested 40 hours of community development and planning services evaluation that would include the documentation of the NBRR ownership and management; existing land use conditions of the right-of-way; existing condition of rail crossings; alternative railroad management and financing options; and economic development pluses and minuses.
  by BandA
 
If they have two or three sites that want service then this might make sense. Anyone confirm that rr has been paying real estate taxes in East Brookfield these past 40 years? Hope they didn't sign an exclusive arrangement with Mr. Bigda or that it has expired.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
The town owns the ROW. Bigda signed a lease with them whenever he first approached them with this scheme. I guess he's been dutifully paying rent all along, though we're probably not talking very much out-of-pocket.
  by BandA
 
Not what I meant; previously the abutters in E Brookfield claimed the right of way had lapsed, someone else claimed the rr had been paying tax all along. When I tried to look it up back then, couldn't find the tax parcel info for E Brookfield, couldn't find any corporation filings with the secretary of the commonwealth. Since ICC filings don't seem to be online, can't even determine when it was abandoned. Know it was leased for one year, renewable by the NYC in 1936 (with passenger service abandoned), but on what terms? And the town hasn't even published their selectmen meeting minutes since last year. And as others have pointed out, there have been no STB filings.

If the selectman are on the ball, they would have given the developer (bigda) some period of exclusivity where he has to reach some milestone (laying track, starting service) within X years.
  by MaineCoonCat
 
If the railroad is owned by the town, it wouldn't pay property tax AFAIK.. That would be the town paying itself..
  by daylight4449
 
I don't think it would be the town paying taxes to itself. Probably taxes being paid to the state and/or the feds...
  by BandA
 
papabarn wrote:If the railroad is owned by the town, it wouldn't pay property tax AFAIK.. That would be the town paying itself.
Problem is RR is owned by North Brookfield, but also runs through East Brookfield. That's where the nimbys are.
daylight4449 wrote:I don't think it would be the town paying taxes to itself. Probably taxes being paid to the state and/or the feds...
No income, so no state/federal income tax. Presumably corporate filing fees...

Long, skinny ROW; can't build houses on it presumably, so perhaps assigned a nominal tax valuation by East Brookfield. Speculation on my part.
  by MaineCoonCat
 
BandA wrote: Long, skinny ROW; can't build houses on it presumably, so perhaps assigned a nominal tax valuation by East Brookfield. Speculation on my part.
For FY 2014, US$10,800 assessment according to the Town of East Brookfield's web site.. http://www.eastbrookfieldma.us/sites/eb ... 8oct13.pdf The "old" assessment was US$0. Interesting in that it has changed like that.. Hmmmmmm...
  by YamaOfParadise
 
Has any work actually been done in the intervening time? Obviously not putting rails down, but has there been any attempts at cleaning and maintaining a clear right-of-way yet?
  by BandA
 
YamaOfParadise wrote:Has any work actually been done in the intervening time? Obviously not putting rails down, but has there been any attempts at cleaning and maintaining a clear right-of-way yet?
Last thing I read was selectmen authorizing railroad to hire a constable to serve papers on encroachers (like the pool on the ROW). But that was what a couple years ago?
  by MaineCoonCat
 
papabarn wrote:
BandA wrote: Long, skinny ROW; can't build houses on it presumably, so perhaps assigned a nominal tax valuation by East Brookfield. Speculation on my part.
For FY 2014, US$10,800 assessment according to the Town of East Brookfield's web site.. http://www.eastbrookfieldma.us/sites/eb ... 8oct13.pdf The "old" assessment was US$0. Interesting in that it has changed like that.. Hmmmmmm...
YamaOfParadise wrote:Has any work actually been done in the intervening time? Obviously not putting rails down, but has there been any attempts at cleaning and maintaining a clear right-of-way yet?
BandA wrote:
YamaOfParadise wrote:Has any work actually been done in the intervening time? Obviously not putting rails down, but has there been any attempts at cleaning and maintaining a clear right-of-way yet?
Last thing I read was selectmen authorizing railroad to hire a constable to serve papers on encroachers (like the pool on the ROW). But that was what a couple years ago?
If my math is anywhere near right, at a tax rate of US$17.42/$1,000 it's valued at about US$1,148,000. Corrections much appreciated. Math was never one of my stronger skills.
  by BandA
 
papabarn wrote:If my math is anywhere near right, at a tax rate of US$17.42/$1,000 it's valued at about US$1,148,000. Corrections much appreciated. Math was never one of my stronger skills.
That's a huge valuation for bare ROW...remember, only the part in E Brookfield, and including the causeway over a river that must be rotten, lol. Commercial real estate should bear relation to the rental/lease value...how much is being paid on the lease presently? Valuation should be closer to the liquidation value that developers would pay if broken up. Most of the property would be landlocked and only saleable to abutters, and probably too skinny to carve out house lots. If I was NBRR, I might challenge the assessment. It's had zero commercial value for last ~40 years.
  by MaineCoonCat
 
Re-reading the "East Brookfield property values by owner - FY 2014.", I hereby nominate myself for the "Numb Award".. They apparently
use the word "assessment" for "valuation".. so they're valuating it at US$10,800.

My sincere apologies!

Image
  by MaineCoonCat
 
frrc wrote:Back in the news again....

http://www.telegram.com/article/20150824/NEWS/150829585" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Here we go again. I may be wrong but I think that technically East Brookfield's only recourse is to the STB and they would face a really tough sell.
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