Oxford eyes railroad crossing agreement for Grover Gundrilling

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OXFORD — The town will negotiate a railroad crossing on Industrial Drive now that Grover Gundrilling has moved in at the end of the road.

Town Manager Michael Chammings said there’s no agreement for the railroad crossing, but Grover Gundrilling wants one now that it has completed a second location at the end of Industrial Drive.

Because the town owns property beyond the tracks, Grover Gundrilling is requesting that the town negotiate a crossing with the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad Co., which owns the tracks.

Chammings said he wants to examine the town’s legal responsibilities for the crossing before making an agreement. He said the town put up signs for the tracks and built up the crossing, but hasn’t maintained the road beyond the tracks.

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He said that if the crossing requires lights and bars to block traffic in the future, installation would cost around $200,000. He said he doesn’t want the town to have to foot the bill — at least not in full.

Chammings recommended that, “If we’re going to do this, that we have an agreement in place with Grover Gundrilling to ensure, if the traffic warrants having a bar or lights put in, that they pick up a large portion of that.”

He noted that the expansion is creating many new jobs and that Oxford is happy to have them there. He said it was important to hammer out the town’s liability before signing an agreement.

Grover Gundrilling, which provides precision deep-hole drilling, recently expanded beyond its Norway location to a new building in Oxford. The expansion will provide 35 new jobs.

Selectmen voted unanimously to have Chammings research the matter further and report back to the board.

treaves@sunjournal.com

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