Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today he has taken preliminary steps toward the condemnation of abandoned railroad property located in the City and Town of Poughkeepsie. The property, owned by CSX Transportation Inc., is a roughly 4.6 mile stretch (43 acres) which extends from Morgan Lake by Dutchess Community College to the eastern touch down point of the Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge. The County has had ongoing discussions with CSX for more than 2 years and has submitted an offer to CSX to purchase the property in order to extend the planned Dutchess Rail Trail to the railroad bridge.
“Nearly a year ago, I made an offer to purchase the available CSX rail bed right-of-way,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “Regrettably, a year later I am still waiting for a counter-offer from CSX.”
“As these visionary plans for a pedestrian walkway on the railroad bridge progress, this property would then link the Dutchess Rail Trail with the Ulster County Rail Trail offering a spectacular continuous link extending from East Fishkill all the way up to New Paltz,” said Steinhaus.
There is a significant difference in estimated value between what CSX believes the property is worth and what the County’s appraisal shows. CSX appraises the property value to be worth $6.2 million. The County contracted a certified appraiser to critique the CSX appraisal and determined CSX seriously overvalued the property. Steinhaus said, “On September 18, 2006, the County offered to purchase the property for $2 million dollars. Correspondence to CSX has unfortunately gone unanswered.”
“My agenda for Dutchess is connecting communities. We have an opportunity to connect many communities with this bold trail initiative and create something our residents can be proud of for generations to come. We refuse to have this opportunity stonewalled by CSX’s non-responsiveness, and that is why I have been left no other option but to begin condemnation and let a judge establish the fair value,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.
Click HERE to view a map (.pdf) of the abandoned CSX property.