DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Are trains still necessary in Mississippi? Whether you think railroads are important or not, if you live in DeSoto County you may end up paying for them. A decision about the local railroad could have a big impact on your tax bill.
"We're just concerned because the one thing we know about a rail authority is it has taxing authority. We want to be real careful before we get into anything that could add more taxes to our citizens," said DeSoto County supervisor Bill Russel.
The Grenada Railway stretches almost 200 miles south of Memphis, nearly to Jackson. An 83 mile section of the railroad was shut down recently because it wasn't making money for it's owners.
"We're fearful this is just the first step," Russell told abc24.com.
The first step toward getting rid of the entire railroad. While the company hasn't announced any other closure plans, Russell worries about the impact of losing it.
"It would only affect us on the goods we ship South, but we're not sure how much that is," said Russell.
Or how many local companies use it. Russell told abc24.com the county is looking into that now. It's also looking into an agreement with 10 other counties forming a coalition to act as a watchdog over the railroad.
"We're investigating the rail authority. We've had several meetings with folks in Grenada and between Grenada and Canton. They're actively trying to form a rail authority," Russell told abc24.com.
The county is seriously considering joining, but wants to make sure it's worth the price.