WIUM Local
8:54 am
Fri April 16, 2010

Concerns About Offer To Purchase Keokuk Bridge

Keokuk, IA – Craig Burroughs approached the Keokuk City Council, earlier this year, to express his interest in purchasing the railroad bridge that connects Keokuk and Hamilton.

Burroughs, a businessman from Chicago, met with a locally-organized "Blue-Ribbon Panel," prior to that, working on the details of his proposal.

The city has not acted on Burroughs' offer. It is still being evaluated by the city council's bridge, parks, and cemetery sub-committee.

Despite the evaluation process being underway, aldermen used Thursday night's workshop to express their concerns about Burroughs' offer.

Mayor Tom Marion brought up the fact that Burroughs would pay Keokuk $500,000 after 10 years while earning much more than that from toll rates or investment interest. He says the city also had to contradict Burroughs' statement to the Surface Transportation Board, through a letter, that a deal is in place between the two sides.

Aldermen also brought up demolition liability, Burroughs' background, access to the city's multi-million dollar bridge fund, and potential job loss.

Alderwoman Susan Dunek says the bridge, parks, and cemetery sub-committee will take this opportunity to establish some guidelines for any potential sale. She says Keokuk needs to know what terms would be agreeable, in the future, and what would not.

The sub-committee is expected to meet within the next week to discuss Burroughs' offer to purchase the bridge.