Cargill proposing rail yard plans again, but in new location in same neighborhood

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - About two months ago, the Cedar Rapids city council halted Cargill’s plans to build a new rail yard in a southeast side neighborhood.

Cargill presented plans for a new rail yard at a public meeting in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (Mary Green/KCRG)

Now Cargill is bringing back those plans but in a different part of the same neighborhood.

The new proposed location, in a triangular piece of land bordered by the Cedar River, Otis Avenue SE and Cole Street SE in the Prairie Park neighborhood, is within a mile of where Cargill had previously wanted to build its rail yard, which was on Otis Road and Blakely Boulevard SE.

Cargill said even though the location has changed, the rail yard itself will be about the same size and have many of the same features as in the previous plan.

On Wednesday, Cargill held a public meeting for people who live in that neighborhood in preparation for the rezoning process to push the project forward.

Many of the people at Wednesday’s meeting were the same neighbors who opposed the previous plan.

“We're not here to talk about landscaping and what we're going to do to beautify the area," Joe Schreder, an area resident, said. "We want to talk about options. We're not ready to talk about Cargill bringing a rail yard here."

Cargill said it plans to hold smaller meetings in the next couple of weeks for people who live in the immediate vicinity of the proposed rail yard.