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February 2010 Derailment
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PLEASANT PRAIRIE TO PETITION COMMISSIONER OF RAILROADS FOR ASSISTANCE IN COLLECTING PAYMENT FOR FEBRUARY 2010 UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILMENT
During a December 20 meeting, the Pleasant Prairie Village Board authorized Fire & Rescue Chief Paul Guilbert Jr. to seek the assistance of the Wisconsin Commissioner of Railroads in collecting payment from the Union Pacific Railroad for personnel and services provided during a February 8 train derailment. On February 8, 2010, 23 railroad cars derailed on the Union Pacific Railroad just north of Bain Station Road in Pleasant Prairie. Pleasant Prairie Fire & Rescue, Police and Public Works personnel responded to the emergency, followed by Union Pacific emergency personnel and specialized subcontractors hired by the railroad.
Once confident that the public safety was no longer at risk and that railroad personnel and subcontractors were amply equipped to manage the clean-up and restoration of the accident site in a safe and responsible manner, the decision was made to withdraw Village personnel from the accident site. “We made the decision to withdraw personnel,” explained Chief Guilbert, “as a courtesy to the railroad. It would have been costly for Union Pacific if the Village had left Fire & Rescue personnel on site throughout the duration of the cleanup, and we were confident in the quality of the response that Union Pacific and its subcontractors were providing. We gave them the benefit of the doubt, and in good faith, we made the call not to keep the meter running.” Based on services provided and the number of personnel who responded, an invoice was mailed to Union Pacific for the response to the derailment. The expenses totaled $10,593.03.
Since April of 2010, the Village has been attempting to collect payment; however, Union Pacific has not responded. Pleasant Prairie will now petition the Wisconsin Commissioner of Railroads for assistance in collecting payment for the derailment response. Emergency service fees, as outlined in Village ordinances, cover the actual cost incurred by the Village to respond with the appropriate number of personnel and pieces of equipment, such as fire engines, tanker trucks, ambulances and the like.