Archive

Allegheny Valley Railroad files federal lawsuit to claim tract in Verona | TribLIVE.com
News

Allegheny Valley Railroad files federal lawsuit to claim tract in Verona

An Oakmont railroad company wants a federal judge to declare that it has dibs on 7.5 acres in Verona that the borough wants, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Allegheny Valley Railroad condemned the property owned by James Burrows Co. on June 21. It wants to build a classification and switching yard that would allow the loading and unloading of railroad cars.

Verona Council voted June 23 to condemn the property for a park, green space or other municipal uses. The borough filed its condemnation June 29.

ā€œGiven the timing of the filing of the borough’s taking, the true purpose for the borough’s taking was to obstruct AVR’s title to the property and thus interfere with AVR’s use of the property for railroad purposes,ā€ Allegheny Valley Railroad says in the lawsuit.

A company representative referred all questions to the railroad’s attorney, who couldn’t be reached for comment. The borough’s solicitor, Craig Alexander, declined to comment.

The railroad’s condemnation power comes from federal law, and the borough’s power comes from state law, the lawsuit says. Federal courts have repeatedly ruled that federal condemnation takes precedence over state or local condemnations, the lawsuit says.

The property is between the railroad’s right of way and Allegheny River Boulevard as it approaches Plum Creek.

George W. Burrows, the owner of James Burrows Co., filed objections to the railroad’s condemnation July 20. He contends that the railroad’s authority is limited by its actual need for the property. Because Allegheny Valley Railroad operates less than 80 miles of line and already has a railyard in Hazelwood, he argues it doesn’t need another.

The railroad has recently invested about $6 million, including $1.6 million of state money, in upgrading the Hazelwood yard, Burrows says in his objection.

His attorney couldn’t be reached for comment.

Brian Bowling is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or 412-325-4301.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.