On March 20, 2013 State Representative George Peterson of the Ninth Worcester District sent a letter to the Surface Transportation Board to the attention of Cynthia T. Brown; Chief, Section of Administration Office of Proceedings, regarding Diana Gel Grosso, et al – Petition for Declaratory Order, Finance Docket No 35653 in support of the Grafton Upton Railroad.
In the letter, Representative Peterson states in part “I am writing in support of G&U which has been a good corporate citizen of the Town of Upton and has provided new jobs and economic growth for the benefit of the town and all of its residents. I believe it is important to permit G&U to continue to operate in its yard in Upton under the privilege of preemption which the railroad enjoys.”
Peterson advised the site of the G&U transloading yard was formerly the town landfill which G&U agreed to clean up in accordance with the plans approved by the Massachusetts DEP as part of the agreement to purchase the property. In addition to cleaning up the landfill site, Peterson states “G&U has built berms along Depot Street which is where the petitioners in this proceeding have homes and has installed screened fencing and over 60 evergreen trees in order to buffer the Depot Street neighborhood from the transloading yard.”
“G&U has undertaken other improvement projects in Upton, such as repaving most of the grade crossings in cooperation with the Town Manager and the Department of Public Works of Upton.” Peterson also advises the G&U has cooperated with the Town Manager, the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Health of the Town of Upton.
This letter is now one of three submitted to the Surface and Transportation Board regarding G&U and the petitioners. On February 13th the Upton Board of Health wrote to Cynthia Brown stating they agree with and support the Upton Board of Selectmen’s decision not to pursue any action before the Surface and Transportation Board and requested to allow G&U to continue its transportation activities. On March 8th Massachusetts Senator Michael Moore wrote a letter to the Honorable Daniel Elliott III in support of the petitioner’s right to petition a federal board to determine whether or not their claims have merit and indicated further investigation was warranted.