CSX to move rocks from Bay St Louis Depot District

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - By Al Showers – bio | email

BAY ST LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Bay St. Louis leaders say there is a light at the end of the tunnel in its dispute with CSX Railroad over the company's Rock Transfer Station. City leaders say CSX began loading and un-loading large boulders on rail cars in an area of the city they've spent a lot of money beautifying.

After a meeting between both sides, CSX agreed to move its rock operation elsewhere.

Linda Seal's back yard is just a stone's throw away from the CSX's Rock Transfer Station. She and her neighbors said news that the operation will soon be leaving the area made their day.

"This noise, continuous noise. And sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I have trouble going back to sleep cause of the rocks pounding and whatever, so I have to put ear plugs on to sleep. And this goes on even on Sundays, a lot of times, with these rocks," Seal said.

Her neighbor Beverly Fontenot agreed.

"Just hear the rocks constantly falling and the big equipment working, it took away from everything that the city has done to beautify the area," Fontenot said.

No one is more happy to see the operation go than Mayor Les Fillingame. He said the city has invested nearly $2 million improving the area.

Last week, the mayor met with CSX officials at the site while rocks were actually being transferred between rail cars.

"I have to give credit where credit is due. It did end up being an easier resolution than we had anticipated," Mayor Fillingame said. "Once the right people on the CSX team where made aware of the impacts that that operation was having on that area, and they came and got an actual visual of that impact, I think it made their decision real easy. And we really appreciate their cooperation in that effort."

He said CSX agreed to move its operation out of the city within the next 30 days.

"I had heard that it was going to be like four years," Seal said. "And I'm thinking, 'Oh my God. I'm ready to sell out regardless of the economy.' I'm not going to put up with that that long."

The rocks are used along the railroad tracks for erosion control. A CSX spokesman told WLOX News the company is looking at several different locations to re-locate its rock operation, including the Port Bienville Industrial Park in southwest Hancock County.

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