The Wayne County Board of Supervisors is reportedly exploring the possibility of transferring ownership of 52 miles of Ontario Midland Railroad property to the county’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA).
At a meeting on Thursday, supervisors were expected to approve a resolution that would authorize county officials to investigate the proposal further. The county currently owns two lines, one running from Monroe County to Wolcott, and another from Sodus to Newark. Ontario Midland Rail Corp. leases and maintains these lines from the county.
Under the proposal, the IDA would assume ownership of the property following ownership changes at Ontario Midland, which is based in Sodus. The Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad acquired a controlling stake of Ontario Midland in September. The IDA, a separate public agency that receives county funds, would only own the railroad lines and property, and would not be running the railroad itself. Wayne County businesses who utilize the lines are among the stockholders of Ontario Midland.
County Administrator Rick House stated that the proposal requires extensive research to determine the benefits and costs of owning the railroad. The resolution was moved from the Economic Development and Planning Committee to the Finance Committee and then to the full board.
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