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Cliff Williams / The Outlook City of Alexander City leaders are hoping Norfolk Southern Railroad will do something to cleanup its tracks in downtown Alexander City. In front of downtown businesses remnant parts of cross ties and a pile of gravel have been present for months.

Most neighbors sharing property lines work together to clean up areas between properties.

Alexander City leaders want to clean up the section of railroad in downtown that has become littered.

“It’s railroad junk — bits of cross ties, gravel in front of businesses,” Mayor Woody Baird said. “We called the railroad and they won't let us move it.”

Nationally it is illegal to trespass on railroad property and those caught on railroad property can be arrested. Norfolk Southern owns the tracks in Alexander City and there is a variable right of way.

“It is 20-foot right there at Main Street and goes to 50 and then 75 or 100,” city attorney Larkin Radney said.

Part of the right of way takes on parking on Calhoun Street.

Radney said Main Street Alexander City used to clean the area of the tracks from the old Russell Main Office to the bend at Hillabee Street.

“We didn’t ask permission, we just did it,” Larkin said.

Baird said the city would like to clean up some of the materials left behind for months at a time in the downtown area but is having trouble getting in touch with anyone with authority from Norfolk Southern.

“Last week I called a guy and they promised to get back to me and he didn’t,” Baird said. “I can’t seem to get through to a person now but I have left a message every day this week. I’m going to keep going until I get to talk to somebody or maybe the thing to do is get a Congressional investigation and get (U.S. Sen. Richard) Shelby or (U.S. Rep. Mike) Rogers involved.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.

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