While Elkin is attempting to reinvent and brand its downtown, what some have described as one of its greatest eyesoars may be something it can’t control: the railroad cars used by Weyerhaeuser and stored behind downtown businesses.
The rusty-looking cars have been stored behind the new $1.4 million Liberty Building, The Tribune, and other downtown businesses. Welders were called in to make necessary repairs.
“I’m fixing the doors. We’re moving the cars out of here,” said a person who only identified himself as “Mr. Bennett” of Bennett’s Welding. “Half of them were taken out this week. We should be done in about two weeks.”
In the last Town Hall meeting, officials publicly addressed the matter saying now is the time to “move that train.”
“We need to address this matter,” said Mayor Lestine Hutchens, who agreed that it’s impractical for investors to take steps on helping redevelop downtown with rail cars in the way. “Yes, it’s an eye-soar and we’re on the verge of something great for downtown.”
“I agree,” said town attorney Raymond Parker, who said he had been in conversations with officials with authority over the cars.
The general consensus of the board was to begin discussions on resolving the problem.
At the Yadkin County Wine Festival held in Elkin this weekend, tourists who were shuttled to-and-from area hotels by YVEDDI were taken through downtown, and many questioned the purpose of the railroad cars being stored in Elkin.
As of press time, no one with Weyerhaeuser has returned calls seeking comment.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org